The South Tama/East Marshall girls soccer team traveled to compete in the Waverly tournament on Saturday. This is one of the best tournaments in the state, the caliber of teams at this would be a state tournament itself, with nine of the 12 teams competing ranked this year.
The STC/East Marshall team will be underdogs, but yet will find out how far they have come this year. We are still a young team, but will be up to the challenge this tournament provides.The ST/EM team missed two key players, as it is that time of year for graduations receptions, for family and themselves.
ST/EM started the game with Hannah Keckler, (a freshman) in goal, Sadie Kavalier, Hailee Weiss, Grace Kavalier and Ericka Dunning in defense; Araceli Angel, Kylee Hoskins, Mona Nunez and Dani Stubbs in the mid-field; with Kristi Lasley and Carmen Angel up front.
The first game of the day the team took on No. 3 Council Bluffs St Albert. The game was played under sunny skies, but a cool temp and strong NW winds. St Albert took control of the game right off the opening kickoff and never looked backed. This was a game for the ST/EM players to understand what a very good team is about. And with missing some key players, it did not help the situation.
St Albert scored one minute into the game, and added goals at the 5,7,10,11 and 15 minute mark for a 6-0 lead. ST/EM needed to make some changes, so Grace Kavalier moved into the goal and Maria Fonseca went into the game to play defense and the change helped. St. Albert would score one more goal, at the 19-minute mark, but that was it for the half, and for the rest of the game. The ST/EM players started to be more aggressive, and held their own for the rest of the game. Hannah Keckler did a good job in goal while she was in there, but it came down to experience. Hannah will be a good goalie, but this was not her day.
The second game of the day found the ST/EM team taking on No. 10 Denver, in a repeat match from Monday, May 6th. Denver had a few days to figure out what the ST/EM defense was doing from the Monday game, and made adjustments to this. And it played off for them.
Denver adjusted its attack to focus on the wings and then used the long cross to catch ST/EM over playing the strong side, and again with the inexperience in the lineup, this worked very well to Denver's advantage. Denver controlled the game and forced the action from the start. Denver scored in the 6, 9 and 16-minute marks, and had a PK at the 23-minute mark that it converted, as well as a goal at the 25-minute mark for a 5-0 halftime lead. And Denver kept it up in the second half with goals at the 6, 8 9 23 and 28-minute marks for the final 10-0 score.
The last game of the day found the team taking on a very good Mason City squad. ST/EM started again a different lineup for the third time. ST/EM started the game with Grace Kavalier in goal; Mona Nunez, Hailee Weiss, Maria Fonseca and Ericka Dunning in defense; Araceli Angel, Kylee Hoskins, Kloey Fairall and Dani Stubbs in the mid-field; with Kristi Lasley and Carmen Angel up front. Don't know if it was the lack of experience, or the third game of the day, but the team came out flat,and Mason City took advantage of it.
Mason City scored at the 2, 4 and 8-minute marks, the last being a PK. ST/EM then finally started to play stronger and actually had good attacks on the Mason City end, but too little too late. Halftime score was 3-0 in favor of Mason City. Mason City would add three more goals in the second half for a final score of 6-0. With the lack of subs, and being the third game of the day, the team still had a good showing. The team matched up well with Mason City, but youth and experience showed through.
The ST/EM team knew this was going to be a tough tournament, but in the end, the girls played hard, and never once gave up. In every game there were positives that need to be built on to continue to build the program for the future. The subs (Socorro Mendoza, Anna Jensen and Hannah Keckler) got to see a lot of playing time, which will help the team in the future. Maria Fonseca and Kloey Fairall stepped into starting rolls and did a very good job, against some very good teams. Grace Kavalier did a good job in at goalie, for never playing the position before. She directed the team, and kept them organized.
Hailee Weiss again played a very strong defender, holding up the defensive line, along with Ericka Dunning and Sadie Kavalier. Araceli Angel, Dani Stubbs, Mona Nunez and Kylee Hoskins did a good job in the midfield, and played hard all three games. Forwards of Kristi Lasley and Carmen Angel took advantage of attacked, when the team could get one going. The team needs to continue to work on controlling the ball after they win the 50-50 chances. There were many times during the three games, when we won the ball but then turned it over for lack of control. This is something the team continues to work on, and we have improved from the beginning of the season, but still need to improve.
ST/EM next game was Monday when the team traveled to Monroe to take on PCM.