Both the Vermillion Tanager boys’ and girls’ soccer teams earned third place at the state tournament Friday and Saturday in Sioux Falls. Even though the results are the same for each team, their journeys were distinctive mainly with the teams they played.
The boys’ team was seeded third in the tournament. They suffered a lost to second seeded Belle Fourche 2-1 on Friday. They rebounded for a 2-1 victory over Sturgis on Saturday, giving the Tanagers the third place trophy.
The girls’ team was seeded second in the tournament, and suffered a heartbreaking 2-1 loss to West Central (eventual champs) on Friday. “Vermillion had at least five clear chances to score when the game was 0-0 and then 1-1,” said coach Carlos Telleria, “yet we has some misfortune in the finishing line. That was capitalized by West Central with a goal in a counterattack three minutes before the regulation time.” During the season, Vermillion defeated West Central 1-0 in both Vermillion and Sioux Falls, which proves that the teams are in a similar soccer level.
They came back on Saturday to secure the third place trophy with a 3-1 victory over Sturgis.
“The game in the tournament was a highly physical game,” said Telleria, “but Vermillion prevailed in the last 20 minutes of the match with a collective play that counteracted the speed and aggressiveness of the opponent, and ended up with three beautiful collective play goals by Tori Gregoire (2) and Natasha Samudzi (1).”
With a very young team, they have a very promising future.