The South Tama/East Marshall girls soccer team traveled to Independence last month to take on the No. 15 Independence in the first round of regionals.
ST/EM started the game with Sam Earley in goal; Sadie Kavalier, Hailee Weiss, Grace Kavalier and Ericka Dunning in defense; Araceli Angel, Kylee Hoskins, Mono Nunez and Carmen Angel in the mid-field; with Dani Stubbs and Kloey Fairall up front.
The Lady Trojans team was ready to play Thursday and it showed. The Lady Trojans continually pressured the Independence players and forced the action at every turn. ST/EM played aggressive soccer for the whole game and the game was played in the mid-field for most of the 80 minutes.
Araceli Angel had a good look in the first few minutes of the game and put a shot on frame, but the Independence goalie made the save. South Tama/East Marshall's defense was very solid and it kept Independence forwards having to adjust as they caught Independence offsides 10 times for the game.
Independence finally got a goal at the 30-minute mark of the first half on a hard shot that Sam Earley blocked, then blocked the second rebound shot but could not stop the third try. ST/EM pushed back with Dani Stubbs getting a shot off but it was wide. And this is the way the half ended with Independence holding a 1-0 lead.
The second half found ST/EM continuing to be aggressive and frustrating the Independence forwards and mid-fielders. Independence got a goal at the 3-minute mark of the second half on a shot that Sam Early lost in the sun. ST/EM was facing into the sun and it was just at the right angle that Sam never saw it or where it was going. Bit of an unlucky break, but part of soccer. And this was it for scoring for the game for Independence.
ST/EM kept pushing and on a corner from Araceli Angel, ST/EM had a chance to cut into the lead, but could not get a foot on the ball. At the 65-minute mark, ST/EM put Hannah Keckler into goal and Sam Earley played in the field trying to generate more chances. This worked, but again could not find the back of the net. And this is the way the game ended with Independence taking a hard fought 2-0 win and ending the ST/EM team's season.
The South Tama/East Marshall team played even with Independence for most of the evening and it was the aggressive team, fighting for and winning the 50-50 chances. The ST/EM team played its best game of the season and Independence knew that it were lucky to come away with the win.
I was very proud of the effort the players gave in this game. They fought hard from the opening whistle until the final whistle. Every player contributed to the effort. The defense was rock solid. The mid-field play was the best of the season and the forwards played hard and created chances. It was a team effort from top to bottom. It was a fun game to watch and to coach. And to see the improvement from the start of the season to end was also a pleasure to see. This team has come a long way, and looking to next season, it should be a good season of ST/EM soccer.
The Lady Trojans hosted Vinton-Shellsburg Tuesday in the last game of the regular season. ST/EM started the game with Sam Earley in goal; Sadie Kavalier, Hailee Weiss, Grace Kavalier and Ericka Dunning in defense; Araceli Angel, Kylee Hoskins, Mono Nunez and Carmen Angel in the mid-field; with Dani Stubbs and Megan Wanatee up front.
This was Senior Night for the Lady Trojans, and the three seniors - Grace Kavalier, Megan Wanatee and Carmen Angel were honored. All three seniors will be missed very much next year, both from experience and leadership standpoints.
ST/EM came out and for the first 25 minutes controlled the flow of the game. The team was winning the loose balls and pushing the attack. Dani Stubbs had a good look, but right at the goalie for an easy save. Mona Nunez also had a good shot, but again to no avail. The mid-field play kept the game there and ST/EM kept trying to find a right combo to get a score. But it was Vinton that found the back of the net first.
It was off a corner kick that found its way to the weak side and an unmarked person for a 1-0 lead for Vinton at the 27-minute mark. ST/EM tried to answer but just could not find the net. Vinton scored again right before half for a 2-0 lead.
The second half found the game continuing like the first half. ST/EM controlling the flow, but finding no chances. Vinton scored in the 47 and 50th minutes to take a 4-0 lead. ST/EM changed up the lineup, trying to generate some offense.
Sam Earley came out of goal and played mid-field while Hannah Keckler went into goal. This did help but ST/EM still could not find the back of the net. Vinton went on to score in the 60 and 70 minute marks for the final score of 6-0.
This was the last regular season game for the team. The team improved through out the season and each player improved. The team played very tough competition, with half of the teams it faced were or are ranked. This is a young team and it showed in experience. But it will lay a solid groundwork for next season.
The team never gave up, and gave 100 percent in each and every game. The players worked hard in practice and tried to use what was done in practice to the game. Again this will come with maturity and experience.