The game started at 4:30 with Abby Llewellyn in goal. Defensive line was Olivia Terrones, Alexis Riha, Savanna Lopez, and Carina Chavarria. Midfield starters were Emily Terrones, Jaelin Berger, Haley Dunning and Esmeralda DeLaTorre. Forwards were Abby Ryan and Ariana Avila.
The game started under clear skies with wind out of the North and cool temps. This was the first game of the season for both teams, and for the first few minutes it showed as it took a couple of minutes for the teams to get the feel of the pitch and game conditions.
Grinnell won the toss so they took the wind the first half. The first half Grinnell utilized the wind, as the game was played in the ST end of the field but not in front of the goal. Grinnell ended up with 7 corners but could not do anything with them, as the ST/EM defense played well, and kept the game to a 0-0 score. Anytime that Grinnell had a shot, Abby Llewellyn was up to the task. ST/EM had a couple of good attacks in the first half, but could not get a goal. Autumn Papakee had the best chance in the first half but the shot was to the goalie. Aleks Beha, Estrella Castellanos, Autumn Papakee, Azra Papakee, Rosa Solis, Mallory Thede and Analea Ordaz saw action in the contest, and helped then needed. Half time came and the score was still 0-0.
South Tama goalie Abby Llewellyn steps up to stop a shot on goal by Grinnell in the Trojans opening home game of the season. STC fell 1-0 to the Tigers.
Chronicle Photo/Allison Graham
Second half saw ST/EM with the wind, and it allowed ST/EM to generate more positive attacks. Emily Terrones had a good look but the shot was to the Grinnell goalie. Esmeralda had a shot but was wide. Carina had a nice run from the back but again the shot was wide. Olivia and Analea both had shots from free kicks, but again were wide or at the goalie. ST/EM had a hand ball called on them in the box, but Abby stopped the PK to keep the score 0-0. The second half was played in the mid-field on both ends of the field. It was an up and down game. In the 78th minute, Grinnell got a breakaway. The ST/EM defense got caught leaning the wrong way, and Grinnell player got a shot off that Abby could not get her hands on. Grinnell 1-0 at that point in time. ST/EM pressed the last two minutes but could not find the equalizer, and that is the way the game ended, 1-0 in Grinnell's favor.
This was a hard fought game. ST/EM played well, and won their share of free balls. They were aggressive and challenged Grinnell on every turn. The team fought hard to the very end. This was not the result that the team wanted but was positive in so many ways. It bodes well for the future of the team. It does not get any easier, as ST/EM faces #7 Solon on Friday night then travel to Manchester on Monday to take on West Delaware.