South Tama/East Marshall's girls soccer team hosted Benton on Monday, on a cool and very windy match. Temperatures were in the 50s with a wind out of the west. ST/EM started the game with Sam Earley in goal, Sadie Kavalier, Brooke Dvorak, Haliee Weiss and Katie Behounek in defense; Sam Frundle, Grace Kavalier, Megan Wanatee and Shelby Bradley in the mid-field; with Araceli Angel and Carmen Angel up front.
Benton won the toss and took the south end of the field and the game was on. The defense of ST/EM kept the ball in front of them and most of the first half found the play in the mid-field on both ends. At the 20-minute mark, Benton had a nice counter-attack that found the ST/EM defense on its heels. The ST/EM goalie had a nice block of the one-on-one, but the free ball rolled to the foot of a wide open Benton player. Benton took a 1-0 lead. And this is the way the half would end.
The second half found ST/EM being the aggressive team and controlling the tempo for the majority of the half. ST/EM had a good attack at the 50-minute mark and the Benton goalie made a good save on a shot by Bradley.
South Tama senior Sam Frundle, right, competes with a Benton Community player for the ball Monday. Benton won the game 2-1.
Benton had a shot at the 54-minute that was a high rocket and the ST/EM goalie would get a hand on, but could not deflect enough and it went into the net right under the bar for a 2-0 lead. This seem to light even more of a fire under the ST/EM players and the rest of the game was played in the Benton end.
ST/EM had a good look at the 60-minute mark, but again was denied. At the 70-minute mark ST/EM finally got a goal from Behounek with the assist going to Frundle.
The Trojans kept up the pressure and at the 76-minute mark Bradley had a hard shot that the Benton goalie just pushed wide from going in on the near post. On the corner right after this, Behounek sent a beautiful cross right in front of the goal, but no ST/EM player could get a foot on it to put it in. The goal was there, just could not finish it. And this is the way the game ended with Benton taking a 2-1 win.
ST/EM played very well and continually won the 50-50 chances. ST/EM had 23 shots with 14 on goal. Benton had 14 shots with nine on goal. ST/EM had six corners to one for Benton.
The Trojans' played hard and never gave up. The team worked hard and set up chances, but just could not cash in on the chances they created. The team never game up and the final outcome was in doubt until the final whistle.
"This was a team effort and it showed," head coach Bob McBain said. "Sadie continues to improve with every game and Shelby is also developing into a very solid mid-field player. The returning players continue to show their experience and leadership. Hailee has come back from illness to be a force that she ended last year as. The senior leadership of Kate, Brooke and Sam continues to show each and every game. Grace and Megan both continue to grow and be a force in the mid-field. Sam Earley in goal is a solid position and she does a good job keeping the defense organized.
"This has been a challenging year due to injuries, but that is part of the game," he said. "Hopefully we can get everyone back before the year ends. If this happens this team will be a team to be reckoned with. But it has been a fun team to coach as well."
The Trojans next game will be at 4:30 p.m.Tuesday at home against Pella Christian.