The South Tama/East Marshall girls soccer team traveled to Pella to take on Pella Christian on Monday for a 6 p.m. start. ST/EM started the game with Sam Earley in goal; Sadie Kavalier, Hailee Weiss, Megan Wanatee and Cynthia Lares in defense; Araceli Angel, Kylee Hoskins, Guadalupe (Mona) Nunez and Dani Stubbs in the midfield; with Kristi Lasley and Ericka Dunning up front. Due to injuries, we have had to move people around and pull first-year players into starting lineup.
The game started with windy conditions and threat of rain. PC won the toss and took the wind in the first half. ST/EM took the kickoff and the game was on. ST/EM pushed hard in the first few minutes and had a good chance to grab the lead three minutes into the game. A nice cross by Stubbs found a wide open Lasley on the weak side about 10 yards from goal, but Lasley could not get a good foot on it and the shot was wide.
ST/EM kept the pressure on, but again could not find the back of the net. PC caught the ST/EM defense flat footed at the nine-minute mark, and a nice shot found PC with a 1-0 lead. ST/EM kept fighting back, but just could not find the back of the net.
PC scored again at the 17-minute mark off a goal kick that the ST/EM goalie miss hit. It went right to the PC player, who quickly fired a shot that beat the keeper. It was 2-0 PC at that point. Then the rain started and the whole game changed.
The ball got very slick and the field very quick. Both teams had good looks for the rest of the half, but both teams came up empty. Earley, the ST/EM goalie, made some very good saves to keep the score 2-0. She came out of the box more than once to stop buildups or break-aways.
The second half found the ST/EM team with the wind and again creating scoring chances, but unable to find the back of the net. Nunez had a hard shot that was just inches wide of the far post. Kylee Hoskins setup a good shot, but again no one could get a solid foot on it. Wanatee had a good run from the backline but again the shot was right at the PC keeper.
Araceli Angel had a couple of shots as well, but again either wide or right at the keeper. ST/EM kept hustling and shooting, but just not to be. And this is the way the game ended with PC taking a hard-fought 2-0 win of two evenly matched teams.
The ST/EM girls played well tonight. With some of the injuries to the more experience players, others stepped in and played very well. Kylee Hoskins filled in very well in her first start in midfield and did a good job there. Wanatee was dropped back to defense and played well there, as did the rest of the team.
We were aggressive again tonight and we're controlling the tempo for the majority of the game. The defense continues to play very solid soccer, with young players in the defensive line. We were winning the loose balls, but still learning what to do when we do get these chances. We were trying to make the runs and cross the ball to the weak side, and when it did connect, we had good things happen.
The team has improved very much from the first game and you can see it in the play. If the team keeps playing like this, the goals will happen and the win will happen as well. I was very pleased with the effort the team showed tonight. They work hard and never give up.