The South Tama/East Marshall girls soccer team hosted Grinnell Monday for a 4:30 p.m. contest. ST/EM started the game with Sam Earley in goal; Sadie Kavalier, Hailee Weiss, Megan Wanatee and Ericka Dunning in defense; Araceli Angel, Kylee Hoskins, Guadalupe (Mona) Nunez and Dani Stubbs in the midfield; with Kristi Lasley and Socorro Mendoza up front.
The game started under sunny skies and warm temps for a change. Grinnell pushed the action right off the bat, but the ST/EM defense held its own. Grinnell midfield play started to control the action, but the ST/EM team fought back and kept the game even. ST/EM had a few runs into the Grinnell end but could not amount a solid attack. And this is the way the first half was played with the ST/EM team playing defense, bending but not breaking.
Earley, the ST/EM goalie played a solid first half, keeping the ball out of the net, coming out and making very good saves. The ST/EM midfielders had to drop back and play defense to keep Grinnell off balance, but in doing so, ST/EM could not get the ball out of its end. At the 25-minute mark, Megan Wanatee went down with an injury to her knee and she was done for the night. Good news is she should be back for the next game, but this left the ST/EM team with no seniors on the field, and having to adjust to protect field. Halftime ended with the game at 0-0.
In the second half, the game was a mirror of the first half. Grinnell pushing the attack, but ST/EM holding solid. But it was a matter of time, and at the 47-minute mark, Grinnell got a goal, followed by a second one at the 64-minute mark. That was it for the night. Grinnell took the contest 2-0.
Grinnell was the better team, but ST/EM held its own and fought to the end. Every player that was on the roster and at the game got to see action, as the warm weather took it toll, and the game pace. But it was good to see that the younger players to see action, and do good things. This will be the team that will be on the field next year, so a look into the future.
This was a tough game for the girls, but they showed what they can do, playing together as a team. Even with the adversity of losing the seniors from the team and playing with first-year players in a lot of positions. They played with a lot of heart and everyone gave everything they could plus some. Hailee Weiss led the defensive effort, supported by Sadie Kavalier, Megan Wanatee, Araceli Angel, Ericka Dunning and Hannah Keckler, and Alyssa Patro seeing action in the defensive line.
Midfield players were Dani Stubbs, Mona Nunez, Araceli Angel and Kylee Hoskins with Lexie Shadden and Maria Fonseca seeing action as subs. Forwards were Socorro Mendoza and Kristi Lasley with Anna Jensen and Kloey Fairall seeing duty. This was a team effort and I am very proud of the team. They continue to improve from game to game.
South Tama's next game will be Saturday when the team travels to Ballard for a 11:30 a.m. kickoff time. It will be varsity followed by junior varsity.