By Bob McBain
Head Girls Soccer Coach
ST/EM traveled to Aplington on Thursday to take on AP at 5:30. ST/EM started the game with Hanna Keckler in goal, Sadie Kavalier, Hailee Weiss, Sam Earley, and Cynthia Lares in defense, Araceli Angel, Kylee Hoskins, Dani Stubbs and Kloey Fairall in mid-field, with Mona Munez and Catie Collins as forwards. The weather was sunny but cool with a wind out of the NW.
ST/EM started strong, and took the game to AP. The first half was an up and down game with both teams playing hard and aggressive soccer. Both teams attacked and counter-attacked each other. ST/EM had the first shot, but was just wide. AP came back but the ST/EM defense was very solid, and kept turning AP away. Hanna Keckler, in her first start in goal, made the saves when AP did have a look. Both team kept trying to figure out the other team's defense, and AP got there first. AP loaded up one side on attacks, and in the 24th minute this paid off for AP with a goal. AP got a gift in the 40th minute with an own goal on the ST/EM defense. And this is the way the half ended with AP holding a 2-0 lead.
The second half found AP pressuring every pass and being even more aggressive, and it paid off for them. On a throw in at the 45 minute mark, AP set up a scoring chance that ST/EM did not identify, 3-0 was the score. AP scored again at the 45 minute mark with a hard shot from outside the 18 that the ST/EM goalie got a hand on, but could not control and into the goal the ball went. AP scored again at the 46 minute mark on a very nice corner kick for a 5-0 lead. AP finished off the scoring with a goal at the 76 minute mark with a rocket from 20 yards out that found the upper corner of the goal. This is the way the game ended with AP taking a 6-0 victory.
The team played hard, and for the first 40 minutes played probably the best soccer they have played including last season. ST/EM was passing very well, and generating good attacks, and not just kicking the ball. They were aggressive, and fighting for every loose ball. They put pressure on AP, and really played even with a very good AP team. The second half was not as good, but that was in part to AP who pushed the tempo, and did not allow ST/EM to get into any rhythm in the second half. The team did not give up, and fought to the final whistle. AP ended up for the game with 26 shots with 17 on goal. ST/EM had 6 shots with 3 on goal. Corners found ST/EM with 3 and AP with 6. This team continues to improve and they are starting to believe in themselves and continue to grow, and will be a team to be reckoned with before the season is done.
Seeing action in the varsity match, besides the starters were Alyssa Patro, Kristi Lasley, Erin Filloon, Nicole Johnson, Jocelyne Veliz and Courtney Ceaser. They all contributed valuable minutes to the match.
The JV team lost 3-0 to the AP JV squad. I have enough girls that I have two full JV squads. There are 43 girls out for soccer this year, the most the program has ever had.
ST/EM next game is Tuesday April 16th when they host Gladbrook-Reinbeck in a 4:30 start. Varsity followed by JV.