The width of the pipe that makes up a soccer goal is about five inches. It must have felt a mile wide to the St. Thomas More girls soccer team after clanging the iron twice in the 79th minute of its 3-2 loss to Class AA Spearfish Tuesday at the Dakota Soccer Complex.
The Cavaliers battled back from an early 3-0 deficit, using a goal in the game’s 35th minute by defender Vivian Hurd and another midway through the second half by midfielder Jenna Jacobson to cut the Spartans’ lead to 3-2.
“We’ve got an incredible group of senior leaders and a junior captain that are raising the team up” Cavalier coach Douglas Noyes said. “They got the team motivated at halftime to come back and just keep fighting. We ran out of time.”
Spearfish used a steady wind blowing out of the north as a 12th player and kept More from mounting much pressure over the opening half of play.
Spartan forward Brooke Peotter, an eighth-grader, was a constant thorn in the Cavaliers’ side. Down 3-0 by the 20-minute mark, Noyes had Madison Dietrich shadow Peotter to try and slow her down in the middle of the field.
“Maddie did a fantastic job marking her and eliminating that threat,” Noyes said. “Once we were able to slow her down, we were able to possess the ball more, distribute more and get back into our attack.”
Twice More had great looks at the equalizer with under 11 minutes left in the game. But Erica Howard’s first shot hit the crossbar and her follow-up from close range hit the left post.
“They were both great strikes,” Noyes said. “Inches the other way and the ball would’ve gone in. It was an amazing individual effort by Erica.”
The Cavaliers (1-2) return to Dakota Fields on Friday and Saturday for games against Dakota Valley and West Central.
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Spartan boys too much for Cavaliers
A young St. Thomas More boys team found itself up against a seasoned Spearfish Spartan side on Tuesday. The Spartans kept the Cavaliers pinned in their zone for much of the night, leading to an 8-1 Spearfish win.
The Spartans scored four goals in each half on their way to the win.
“They always bring a really well-put, together team,” St. Thomas More coach Pete Sales said of Spearfish. “And they have a lot of really skilled individuals. I don’t think we’ve seen the best of them yet.”
Midfielder Yohannes Peterson and striker Brock Bacon tallied two goals each to lead Spearfish. Dominic DeSaro, Ben Wise, Bridger Roberdeau and A.J. Covell also had goals for the Spartans.
Andrew Evans scored the lone goal for the Cavaliers.
“Some people stepped up and played positions they don’t normally play. I think that’s going to help us out going forward,” Sales said. “We made some changes that sparked a few things, which is exciting.”
The Cavaliers are back in action Friday when they take on Freeman at the Dakota Fields Soccer Complex.