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STC Trojans end season to Pella Dutch

May 30, 2018
By Allison Graham - Sports Editor ( , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

South Tama did good work of staving off the Pella Dutch for a time, but in the end Pella topped STC 4-0. The Trojans travelled to Pella on Wednesday, May 23 for Round 2 of Substate boys soccer postseason play.

To get to round two STC shut out Mid-Prairie on Monday, May 21. The Trojans moved on to face top ranked Pella (17-3). It certainly wasn't an impossible task but it was nonetheless daunting.

"We knew they were going to be tough but we came in trying to beat them. We've got a good team too. We play them again and maybe it's not the same outcome," said Coach Nate Van Dyke.

Article Photos

STC keeper Jake Wilkerson swats away a shot attempt by the Pella Dutch on Wednesday, May 23. Pella hosted South Tama for Substate Round 2 winning the contest 4-0.
Chronicle Photos/Allison Graham

The Trojans managed to hold off the Dutch offense until midway through the second half. Pella senior Ethan Poulter, the team's leading scorer, made one goal in the first 40 minutes. STC's defensive unit including Mario Moncada, Joel Medina and Gabe Shields did a nice job of protecting the goal.

South Tama keeper Jake Wilkerson also played a key role in the Trojans defense. He had 13 saves on goal.

"Jake has come a long ways. He's got one of the best save percentages in the conference. He's started a few games the past couple of years but this is his first year as a full time starter and it's only his third year playing soccer. He's athletic back there and he's made some really big saves for us. He does a great job."

The Dutch found an offensive rhythm during the second half. Their offense focused heavily on quick touch passing and was a style that allowed them to move the ball efficiently up the field.

Despite the loss, the Trojans have a lot to be proud of including their 9-9 record.

"We won over twice as many games as we did last year," said Van Dyke, "We got better and we had some individuals make big jumps in the off season. They came back and played a lot better this year. But I think just consistency and playing as a team. We've got some great leaders and some seniors who will be tough to replace but we've got a lot coming back. The goal is to just keep improving every year. Last year we won four games, this year nine. There's only three other teams in South Tama history that have won nine games before."

The Trojans found much of their success in the back half of the season with a five game win streak.

"We had the third longest streak in school history with that last five game win streak, so we got on a roll."

"Our team loves playing and you can see it when they're on the field. They love the game and they play hard."

With the end of the season comes the end of the senior's high school career. The Trojans will say goodbye to seniors Taylor Boldt, Jake Wilkerson, Gabe Shields, Jose Mancinas, Armando Alonzo, Noah Fonseca, Mario Moncada, Justus Ward, Scott Garcia, Joel Medina, Daniel Ochoa and Nathan Lasley.

"They are all tough to replace. We had three captains Boldt, Shields and Ochoa who we will lose. Mario is a 2nd year player and started a lot of games and did really well. Gabe Shields has only been playing two years. Ochoa is a four year player and Joel Medina is a four year player. They got playing time in the State game four years ago. Mancinas is one of our top goal scorers, the fastest player on the team. We've got a really good senior class but we have a pretty good mix because we have two freshmen that started as well."

Van Dyke was quite happy with the effort the Trojans put forth on the field Wednesday night.

"When there is 18 seconds left and you have someone sprinting all the way across the field to win a ball and we're not going to win the game at that point that shows a lot. If you give effort like that then we can't hang our head on a performance like this."

This is the second year coaching soccer for Van Dyke. He also coaches freshman football as well and is the head varsity wrestling coach where he has had much success.

"Coming into it I did it because of the challenge. I played one year in high school but that had been however many years before that. We've got a lot of kids in the community who like soccer. They are soccer players. If they are excited about something that's something I want to be a part of and then the biggest thing is just the challenge to see if I can do it. I've learned a lot. I still don't know everything about the sport by any means but I want to get this group of guys together and to build some team comradery."



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