Tanager soccer team looking for first win

Tanager soccer team looking for first win The Lady Tanagers soccer team traveled to Rapid City Saturday in search of their first win of the season. The team played Rapid City Central at 11 a.m., followed by a 4 p.m. match with perennial power Rapid City Stevens.

Last week, the Tanagers scored ties with Watertown and Spearfish and suffered an unexpected loss to lowly Sturgis. Although the team continues to have difficulty scoring, the goals-against average improved considerably as the defense surrendered only three goals over the three games. Leading goal scorers on the season are Carly Benard and Emma Erickson with two apiece.

Travelling to Watertown on Sept. 17, the Tanagers appeared well on their way to their first win with a lead of 2-0 with eight minutes remaining in the match. A resurgent Watertown attack managed two goals however, and the Tanagers settled for a draw.

The Tanagers took on Spearfish on Sept. 21 in Sioux Falls, a team that defeated Vermillion 9-0 last season. The Tanagers came out determined to avoid another such result, and thanks to pressure defense and the saving of a penalty kick by goalkeeper Kathleen Redlin, the Tanagers obtained a second draw at 0-0. Playing their second match of the day, the Tanagers faced winless Sturgis. Having been beaten by Yankton earlier in the day by a score of 10-0, Sturgis played like a team that had nothing to lose while the Tanagers were flat throughout the match.

The Tanagers were unable to answer a Sturgis goal late in the second half, and suffered a humiliating 1-0 defeat.

"With the number of seniors that we have on the team, and the overall experience that our players have in the game of soccer, we should be playing better than we are," said coach Jeff Pederson. "It is obvious that schools that we used to beat handily have improved, and that is good for the sport. It has taken a few games for our players to find their composure, but there are positive indications that we are pulling it together."

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