Vermillion's girls soccer team ended their season on a victorious note at the state tournament in Mitchell Saturday, whitewashing Sturgis, 2-0, to capture seventh place.
But the Tanagers brought home more than that. The Fair Play Award for Class "A" girls was bestowed upon Vermillion's girls team for the second straight year and the third time in Coach Dave LaCombe's tenure as coach.
"It is truly an honor to receive such an award," LaCombe said. "Sportsmanship is a key factor as we must remember this is a high school sport." The sportsmanship award is based on reactions of players, coaches and spectators.
"We all are judged for the award," LaCombe added. "We have a great fan base that supported the team throughout the season."
Individual members of the Tanagers also earned honors when All-State teams were announced Monday. Senior Ashley Brunick, junior Katie Wasley and senior Morgan Erickson were named first team All-Staters, and junior Christine Epping and senior Tascha Donnelly were selected for honorable mention.
Allie Mockler's goal on an assist by Ashley Brunick proved to be enough in the seventh-place match as keeper Katie Wasley kept the Scoopers off the scoreboard. But for good measure Tori Gregoire scored an insurance goal on Natasha Samudzi's assist to make it 2-0.
In the opening round Thursday the Tanagers were within 1-0 of Belle Fourche at halftime, but the Lady Broncs put three second-half goals into the net for a 4-0 victory. "The game was a lot closer than the score shows," LaCombe noted.
The consolation semifinal against Sioux Falls Christian was tied at the end of regulation play, thanks to Samudzi's tying goal. The score remained deadlocked through the extra period and had to be settled on penalty kicks. In the shoot-out Vermillion scored once, but Christian scored twice to claim the 2-1 O.T. win.
"We are a very young team, and the tournament gave the players a lot of experience for next year. I was very proud of the overall team performance," LaCombe said. "The team would like to thank all the support given from the high school, the booster club, parents, family members and team managers Mary Meadows and Susan Wasley."
West Central won the state title, beating Belle Fourche 4-0 in the championship game. St. Thomas More took third, 3-2 over Groton. Harrisburg edged Christian 2-1 for fifth place.