Lady Tanagers open soccer season The Vermillion Lady Tanagers opened the 2004 high school soccer season Aug. 20 in Rapid City scoring a 1-1 draw with Saint Thomas More.
The game was the first-ever soccer contest between the two schools, following the change in 2004 from two high school soccer divisions to three divisions.
The Lady Tanagers fell behind late in the first half after a Saint Thomas More striker received a ball from the midfield and raced past the Tanager defense to place a perfect shot past goalkeeper Sarah Christopherson.
Vermillion equalized midway through the second half when midfielder Kelsey Bowman smashed a bullet into the net from 25 yards out.
A well-organized More defense kept the Tanager strikers in check throughout the game, and the Tanager scoring chances were fewer than expected. On defense, center-defender Nicola Obeney was stellar for the Tanagers throughout the match.
Senior Jackie Thomas kept Saint Thomas More out of the net twice in the final minute with clearing headers of More corner kicks.
"It was a new experience for us to drive to Rapid City and play in the same day, and we were not as sharp as we could have been," said seventh-year coach Jeff Pederson. "With the speed and playmaking ability that we have, Saint Thomas More can be credited for a superior defensive effort.
"This team is going to score goals this season at a pace we have not seen for years, however this night was an exception to that," he said.
Next matches for the Lady Tanagers are Aug. 27 and 28 when they again travel west river to face Sturgis and Lead-Deadwood.