Soccer team places 11th, earns special award at state tourney Oct. 11-13 The Vermillion Tanager girls' soccer team played to an 11th place finish in the State High School Soccer Tournament Oct. 11-13 in Aberdeen.
The tournament capped a season during which the Tanagers claimed two victories along with 11 losses and one tie.
With only 14 players able to make the trip, the Tanagers entered the tournament needing to avoid injuries.
Facing #2 Sioux Falls Roosevelt in the opening match, the season-long injury plague continued when sophomore goalkeeper Kathleen Redlin was retired in the first half with a broken finger. Junior goalkeeper Dani Weydert entered the game in relief, and made many fine saves in the face of the furious Roosevelt attack.
Despite a strong effort, the Tanagers fell by a score of 6-0.
The next opponent for the Tanagers was #5 Sioux Falls Washington. Entering the match with only two reserves available, the Tanagers made a determined effort in holding Washington scoreless for the first half on the strength of outstanding efforts by defensive backs Jenna Gilkyson, Kaylie Heesch, Tasia Job, Mara Johnson and goalkeeper Weydert.
Injury woes continued when Junior midfielder Mandy Winckler saw her tournament action come to a close with a strained knee early in the second half. The relentless attack and depth of the Washington squad carried the Warriors to a 3-0 victory over the Tanagers.
Facing Yankton in their final match, the Tanagers had only one substitute available. When left-fielder Carly Bernard left the game with a severe knock to the knee in the first half, the Tanagers were left to battle the deep Gazelle team without the ability to provide relief to any of the remaining 11 players.
Despite several outstanding runs on goal by Gilkyson, the Tanagers were unable to find the net and were overcome by a score of 4-0.
The Tanagers competed this year in the A Division, based upon the success that the program enjoyed against the large schools during the first three years of high school competition. At issue for the 2002 season will be the possibility of competing with similar-size schools in the B Division.
Coach Jeff Pederson offered comments on the season.
"With the loss of eight seniors, we just had too many holes to fill to remain at the competitive level that we had been the last three years," he said. "Although we mounted a strong defense in most matches this year, it soon became apparent that we did not have the attacking ability that had been present in previous years.
"It takes an outstanding striker for a team to compete at the top level in high school soccer, a player that we had the last three years in Kelly Peterson," he added.
Although no team would prefer to start five freshmen, Pederson credits Tasia Job, Mara Johnson, Jamie Bernard, Mandy Winckler and Brittany Weydert for a fine effort.
"These young ladies found themselves in situations that neither they nor I anticipated them to be in, and they responded with gusto and without complaint," he said. "Very few freshmen in the state were called upon to play the minutes and fill the roles that they did this year."
The Vermillion Team won the state high school tournament sportsmanship award.
Field marshals, tournament officials and referees report to the tournament committee teams that, during tournament play, demonstrate either especially good or especially poor sportsmanship. The tournament committee makes its final selection based on the reports.
The award is based on the following criteria:
1. The courtesy and respect a team's players and coaches show toward the opposing team, its players, coaches and spectators.
2. The courtesy and respect a team's players and coaches show toward others and the positive support they give their own players.
4. A team's reaction to both its wins and losses.
5. The number of red and yellow cards a team receives.
6. Inappropriate dissent by players and coaches.
7. Inappropriate language on the field.
8. The positive support team members show each other.
9. A team's general attitude.