Trojans tripped up by Oskaloosa

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON - South Tama County/East Marshall junior Olivia Terrones (25) works by Oskaloosa’s Kirby Nelson (3) during the second half of the Trojans 4-0 loss to the Indians in Tama on Thursday.

TAMA — After giving up a late goal before halftime, the South Tama County/East Marshall girls soccer team trailed 3-0 to Oskaloosa at the break.

As the teams came out for the second half the Trojans had a renewed fire, and while they weren’t able to cut into the lead — even allowing one more Indian goal off a penalty kick — head girls soccer coach Noah Schmelzer said his girls did well to continue fighting.

“I thought we competed really well, physically we matched their intensity,” Schmelzer said. “We were mentally in it and we just had our opportunities but we didn’t finish and they did. Hats off to them.”

Aleeya Cheney was the main difference for Oskaloosa (6-6), scoring a majority of the Indian’s goals, including the penalty kick in the 46th minute.

“She’s a good finisher, she didn’t have a whole lot of opportunities tonight but when she had it, she took advantage of them and that was basically the difference in the game,” Schmelzer said.

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON - South Tama County/East Marshall sophomore Joselin Nunez (6) fights for the ball with Oskaloosa defender Paiven Knoot during the second half of the Trojans’ 4-0 loss to the Indians in Tama on Thursday.

The Trojans (2-11) have a good finisher of their own in Olivia Terrones, who has eight goals this season, but in the second half Schmelzer made a move to put Terrones in the defense.

With Terrones back there the defense was stronger and she was able to dictate some of the offense from the back line as well.

“We moved Olivia back to the position she’s played the previous two years here to give some other kids some opportunities and give them a different look and see what we can do moving forward,” Schmelzer said.

Even from the back line, Terrones led the team in the second half with three shots on goal, and Schmelzer said Terrones has developed incredibly this year from being a good defender in a past.

“She is a great team player,” he said. “I think if she had her choice she would be playing at the back, which is what she knows and loves, but for the team she took on a new role this year and I think has really grown as a player and a leader.”

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON - South Tama County/East Marshall senior Abby Ryan, left, takes the ball off her chest in front of Oskaloosa midfielder Mary Nelson during the second half of the Trojans’ 4-0 loss to the Indians in Tama on Thursday.

There were a few times the Indian offense got behind STC, but other than the penalty kick in the second half goalkeeper MaryAnne Marks kept a clean sheet for the final 40 minutes, including seven saves.

“MaryAnne Marks is a first-year goalie, hasn’t played before,” Schmelzer said. “We graduated all our goalies last year, pretty much all our experience left with graduation, so we had open tryouts and she was a standout and stepped up. She’s been fantastic, she’s made some incredible saves and her dedication to learning the new position is very similar to Olivia. I don’t know where we’d be without those two teams.”

The Trojans have three games left in the regular season, including a clash against Class 2A No. 2 Marion tonight in Tama, and they found out their postseason fates as South Tama will face Newton in the first round of the 2A Region 3 bracket on May 23.

Schmelzer said as the season draws to a close he’s not too worried about how many wins and losses the team finishes with, just that they continue to make progress on their development.

“From here to the rest of the season it’s all about us and improving and trying to spring into next year,” he said. “Send the seniors our the right way and enjoy each other for the next couple of weeks.”

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON