South Tama/East Marshall's girls soccer team hosted Prairie City Monroe for a contest Friday on warm afternoon, with gusty south winds of 20-30 mph.
ST/EM started the game with Sam Earley in goal; Grace Kavalier, Haliee Weiss, Brooke Dvorak and Chelsea Proffitt in defense, Megan Wantee, Kate Behounek, Sam Frundle and Shelby Bradley in the mid-field; with Ericka Dunning and Araceli Angel up front. It was senior night for the Trojans, who's two injured seniors - Missi Peters and Amanda Husak - started the game, but were immediately taken out.
"We have some of our injured players back," Behounek said. "We are definitely working more as a team with our one-two passes. Things are coming together late in the season."
South Tama girls soccer players celebrate the opening goal Friday. Senior Sam Frundle (No. 8) high-fives freshman Ericka Dunning (No. 1) while sharing a laugh with senior Kate Behounek.
ST/EM took the wind the first half and used it to its advantage. ST/EM played aggressive and controlled the flow of the game. ST/EM got a score at the 5-minute mark of a corner from Behounek. The ball when to Frundle, who took a shot and Angel got a foot on it to re-direct it. The ball went up into the air and sailed over the goalkeeper's outstretched arms and into the goal for a quick 1-0 lead.
At the 14-minute mark, PCM tied it up on a mixup in the Trojans' defense. The ST/EM goalie came out to clear the ball, and the defense did not realize it, and kicked the ball into the goalie. The ball bounced off the post and right to a wide open PCM player at the eight-yard line for a score. Score was now tied 1-1.
At the 20-minute mark, Behounek had a free kick from 30 yards out that was on target, but the PCM goalie just pushed it over the top of the goal. At the 26-minute mark, Behounek had another free kick from about 30 yards out but hit the top bar. At the 31-minute mark Behounek had a breakaway, but she put the shot just wide.
At the 39-minute mark, Behounek finally got the goal she had been working for so hard on. It was a nice near post shot from 10 yards out. The halftime score was 2-1 in favor of ST/EM.
"It was exciting to be in a close game," Behounek said. "I'd rather not blow somebody out. It's not like we do, but it's definitely nice to have good competition."
The second half found PCM with the wind, but ST/EM kept the pressure on and kept the ball in the mid-field. The teams pushed up and down the field with ST/EM seeming to have the better looks, but could not get the assurance goal.
At the 53-minute mark, PCM was called for a handball in the box. Behounek converted the shot for a 3-1 lead. PCM pushed the remainder of the game, but ST/EM responded and kept anything from going into the net.
At the 75-minute mark, Behounek had a good look to get the hat trick, but it was not to be as the shot was just wide. At the 78-minute mark ST/EM had a scramble in front of the PCM goal and Jen Munoz almost had a goal as she shot on a crossing pass, but could not beat the goalie to the near post
This is the way the game ended with ST/EM taking a 3-1 victory. ST/EM had eight corners to three for PCM. ST/EM had 27 shots with 13 on goal. PCM had 15 shots with 10 on goal.
"This is exciting," Behounek said. "I don't know the last time we had a win on senior night. No PK shootout tonight, too. We've had two of those this year and that's enough for me."
Head coach Bob McBain was thrilled for his players.
"The team played very well tonight and were the better team," McBain said. "They were winning the 50-50 balls and pushing the action. The team came out tonight and wanted to play and it showed. It was senior night and a good victory for the seniors - Kate Behounek, Brooke Dvorak, Sam Frundle, Chelsea Proffitt, Missi Peters and Amanda Husak. All of these girls have played four years for the team and will be missed next year. They have been the soul of this team, as well as the leaders."
ST/EM traveled to Vinton on Tuesday for the last game of the regular season.
On Thursday, ST/EM hosted NU High for a contest on another warm, windy day. NU High took the wind the first half and it worked to its advantage. ST/EM ended up chasing the ball the first half, as NU was the aggressive team and ST/EM just could not get into the flow of the game.
NU controlled the ball and kept the ball in front of the ST/EM goal for the majority of the first half. At the 14-minute mark, NU took a 30 yard shot that the wind carried over the ST/EM goalie and under the top bar for a 1-0 lead. NU added to this at the 35-minute mark on a breakaway, for a 2-0 lead. ST/EM had a couple of runs into the NU end, but to no avail.
In the second half, ST/EM had the wind at its back. However, NU was the better team on this evening and continued to control the ball and the flow. The game was played more in the center of the field, but ST/EM could never take advantage of the field position and NU did.
Behounek had a couple of free kicks from 35 yards out and put the ball on goal, but the NU goalie gathered the shots in, keeping ST/EM off of the scoreboard.
The best chance for ST/EM came at the 37-minute mark when Megan had a breakaway, but her shot from about 15 yards out was over the bar. The game ended, with NU taking a 2-0 win.
Earley had 15 saves in goal and the ST/EM defense had some nice plays to keep the score 2-0. Earley came out a few times to stop breakaways, forcing early shots that the defense had time to clear out of damage.
"The play of Earley was one of the bright spots in the game," McBain said. "Overall, the ST/EM players got outplayed and out hustled tonight. This is the first time that we were not the team winning the loose balls and being the aggressive team. We let NU control the game and we could never get over this."