The South Tama/East Marshall girls' soccer team traveled to Van Horne to take on Benton Community on Monday. ST/EM started the game with Sam Earley in goal; Sadie Kavalier, Hailee Weiss, Grace Kavalier and Cynthia Lares in defense; Araceli Angel, Guadalupe (Mona) Nunez, Megan Wanatee and Danni Stubbs in the midfield; with Kristi Lasley and Ericka Dunning up front.
ST/EM changed the lineup around trying to give better control of the midfield. During the past two games, the midfield play has not been strong enough, which allows the other teams to control the tempo of the game.
Monday's game was played under cloudy skies with cool temperatures. Benton started strong, and it took a few minutes for ST/EM to get its game going. ST/EM played good defense, but Benton scored off a corner kick at the 5-minute mark, and it was misscommunication that allowed the goal. Early called for the ball, but the defense did not hear her and actually blocked Earley from getting to the ball. It bounced off of the defender's head to the foot of the Benton player and in the goal.
Benton scored again at the 14-minute mark, when the ST/EM goalie stopped the shot, but could not control the ball on the damp artificial turf; and after a pinball effect, the goal was scored. At the 18-minute mark, Benton had a good counter attack and on a breakaway, made the score 3-0. A free kick goal at the 20-minute mark gave Benton a 4-0 lead. Benton finished out the scoring in the first half at the 27-minute mark for a 5-0 lead.
The second half found the ST/EM team playing a lot harder and it showed. The second half was played in the midfield and not in front of the ST/EM goal. Wanatee had two shots on goal in the second half, both good looks, but good saves by the Benton goalie stopped ST/EM from scoring. Stubbs had a couple of shots on good setups by the midfield play.
ST/EM was winning the 50-50 balls in the second half and it was very aggressive. This is what I have been waiting for. This is a young team, but they showed a lot of heart and never gave up. Benton scored at the 74-minute mark, for a final score of 6-0.
The team showed a lot of heart and never gave up. The girls started to play together and utilize what we have been working on at practices. The subs of Kylee Hoskins, Carmen Angel and Hannah Kecker provided a solid relief when needed. We continue to improve and if the team plays the way they did the second half, they will find wins in upcoming games.
ST/EM will next play at 4:30 p.m. Friday at home against Marshalltown.