U-19 girls’ soccer team to play in state cup

U-19 girls' soccer team to play in state cup The Vermillion U-19 girls' soccer team will compete in the South Dakota Tide American Cup in Rapid City on June 4 and 5. The girls will compete in the A Division, and will be the first ever Vermillion U-19 entry in the state cup.

Vermillion enters the tournament with a record of five wins and two losses. Due to success that the Vermillion High School team has achieved in fall high school soccer, tournament officials determined that Vermillion would be required to compete in the A Division while teams from larger communities were allowed to opt into the less competitive B Division.

Some familiar names will provide leadership and experience in the tournament, including defensive back Lana Johnson, Tressa Olson, and Amy Petekavich. Natasha Peton will see duty in the net, and Courtney Nelson and Kelly Peterson will be depended upon for service in several positions.

Joining Vermillion girls on the roster this spring are Jaime Strong and Jessica Meyer from Dakota Valley. Seven guest players will be added for state cup, including three Vermillion U-16 players and four U-19 players from Yankton. The four Yankton players include All-State striker Tammy Stempel and All-State goalkeeper Katie McNeely. The U-16 players who have been invited to guest are Carly Bernard, Maria Iles, and Kayla Larson. All three played key roles on the high school varsity team last fall.

Vermillion opens the tournament at 11 a.m. on Sunday with Rapid City. The second game will take place at 5 p.m. on Sunday with Sioux Falls. The third pool match is scheduled for 9 a.m. Monday, with the championship match at 3 p.m. should Vermillion win its bracket.

"This has been a challenging yet rewarding season. With players from four high schools and one college player on the team, the logistics have been difficult at times," said Coach Jeff Pederson. "However, it has been personally fulfilling for me to bring together players from different teams and work with them to mesh as a team."

Pederson looks for a successful tournament, saying that "we have a bunch of talent, and the challenge will be put to the players in the right positions in order to take advantage of their respective capabilities and benefit from the confidence that they have in themselves and in those around them."

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