Mar 25, 2014 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports EditorIn 2013 at the Class 3-A state soccer tournament in Jackson, the Lander Tigers finished in fourth place.
The disappointment came in the semifinals, when Star Valley beat Lander to end the title run for the Tigers.
This year, Lander has lofty expectations to improve on its finish.
Coach Dean Schaff returns eight starters from the productive season a year ago.
The Tigers open the season playing at home with Rawlins on Friday night. Start time is 5 p.m.
Lander hosts Torrington at noon Saturday to continue the homestand.
"We are just excited for a chance to play another team and identify the areas we need to improve on," Schaff said. "We will have a chance to put all of the pieces together and make a strong showing."
Torrington and Rawlins are conference opponents.
Schaff's assistant coaches are Brian Riesig, Ben Shipley, Sara Newell and Kaili Mowrey.
The seniors on the roster for Schaff are Ashlyn Schamber, Cierra Winslow, Alicia Espinosa, Codi Swenson, Taylor Meeks, Emily Schimelpfenig, Morgan Robinson and Micah Irene.
"Leadership and experience in tough games will be our strengths going forward," Schaff said.
The Tigers have been in the practice mode for two weeks.
"We have been working on ball control, being more creating offensively, and defending with 11 players," Schaff said.
Junior players coming into the season are Taylor Blasko, Ella Welsh, Morgan Gramlich, Payton Trahnstrom, Mak Meeks, Claire Green, Rashel White and Lyndsey Crane.
Star Valley, Cody and Buffalo are some of the top teams in Class 3-A.
"They will all be strong contenders for the state title," Schaff said.
The Tigers play a two-day tournament April 11-12 at the Worland Invitational.
The annual match with Riverton is planned for April 22 in Lander.
"We have some quality competition on our schedule with a tournament in the middle of the season," Schaff said. "This allows us to improve on a weekly basis leading up to the state tournament."
Lander 2014 roster
Seniors -- Ashlyn Schamber, Cierra Winslow, Alicia Espinosa, Codi Swenson, Taylor Meeks, Emily Schimelpfenig, Morgan Robins, Micah Irene.
Juniors -- Taylor Blasko, Ella Welsh, Morgan Gramlich, Peyton Trahnstrom, Max Meeks, Claire Green, Rashel White, Sarah Kauffman, Lyndsey Crane,
Sophomores -- Sara Bales, Bailey Lewis, Audrya Tarango, Anna Robinson, Rachel Troxel, Kamille Brough, Ryon Countryman.
Freshman -- Allyson Sollars, Sydney Polson, Cat Hafer, Zoe Peterson.
Lander girls schedule with varsity times
March, 28, vs. Rawlins, 5 p.m.; Saturday, March 29, vs.. Torrington, 2 p.m., April 11-12 at Worland Invitational, TBA; Thursday, April 17, at Rawlins, 5 p.m.; Saturday, April 19 vs. Star Valley, 12 p.m.; Tuesday, April 22, vs. Riverton, 4 p.m.; Friday, April 25, at Torrington, 6 p.m.; Saturday, April 26, at Douglas, 1 p.m.; Friday, May 3, vs. Powell, 6 p.m.; Saturday, May 4, vs. Cody, 1 p.m.; Tuesday, May 6 vs. Jackson, 5 p.m.; Saturday, May 10, at Newcastle, 1 p.m.; May 22-24, at Class 3-A state tournament in Jackson.
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