Soccer team takes 3rd at first-ever state high school tourney The Vermillion Tanagers girls soccer team defeated Sioux Falls Lincoln by a score of 4-2 to capture third place in the inaugural South Dakota State High School Varsity Soccer Tournament last weekend in Pierre.
The Tanagers entered the tournament ranked fourth in the State Power Rankings, and were the only Class A school represented in the girls division.
In the opening game on Friday, the Tanagers beat Brookings 11-0. Kelly Peterson netted six goals for the Tanagers, followed by Lana Johnson with two and Michelle Rasmussen, Kayla Larson and Nicole Pedersen with one each. Hilary Pederson, Courtney Nelsen and Tasha Peton shared goal keeping duties.
The Tanagers were matched against Rapid City Central in the Friday evening contest. Kelly Peterson began the Tanager scoring early in the game with a smash into the net from an assist by Michelle Rasmussen. Rasmussen added a goal in the first half for a 2-1 half-time lead.
In the second half, Peterson ensured the 3-2 Tanager win with a direct kick over the goal keeper from 25 yards out. Goal keeper Hilary Pederson recorded 12 saves in the game, and was assisted on defense by the outstanding play of defensive backs Amy PeteKavitch, Lana Johnson, Megan Tolsma and Nina Joy.
On Saturday, the Tanagers faced Number Two Sioux Falls O'Gorman in their semifinal match. The Tanagers were first on the board in the sixth minute with a goal by Kelly Peterson. The 1-0 lead held until the 40th minute when O'Gorman broke the Tanager defense by scoring three goals in five minutes. Following another O'Gorman goal early in the second half, the Tanagers elected to conserve energy for their next game and fell, 8-1.
Facing Sioux Falls Lincoln in the third-place contest, the Tanagers had an opportunity to avenge an earlier loss to the Patriots suffered at the Pepsi Tournament. An early Patriot goal was answered shortly thereafter by an outstanding finish by Michelle Rasmussen to tie the game at 1-1. In the 18th minute of the game, a Patriot striker smashed into goal keeper Hilary Pederson, retiring her from the tournament
With backup keeper Natasha Peton in the net for the Tanagers, and with the force of vengeance working for them, the Tanagers picked up their possession of the ball in the midfield. Following a 2-2 tie at half-time, striker Michelle Rasmussen put the Tanagers into the lead with a breakaway run and finish from an assist by Kelly Peterson. Rasmussen put the icing on the cake in the 42nd minute with a 20-yard blast into the net to seal the 4-2 victory and third place for the Tanagers.
Scoring leaders for the Tanagers were Kelly Peterson with 10 goals and eighth-grader Michelle Rasmussen with 5 goals. Leading the defensive backfield for the Tanagers were Amy PeteKavitch, Megan Tolsma, Nina Joy, Katie Carlson and Lana Johnson. Handling duties in the midfield during the tournament were Kim Hoffman, Kelly Peterson, Tressa Olson, Francisca Flores, Shawna Baron, Courtney Nelson, Nicole Peterson, Sarah Iles and Abby Mattson.
The Tanagers completed the season with a record of 12-2 and were undefeated in the Eastern South Dakota Conference.