May 5, 2014 - By Craig Blumenshine, Staff WriterThe Casper Kelly Walsh Trojan boys soccer team, smarting from giving up a whopping six goals in Rock Springs Friday, changed to a more defensive set and shut out the Riverton Wolverines 1-0 Saturday at Wolverine Field.
KW senior Zeph Connell slipped a slow roller past Riverton keeper Ty Woodward in the 35th minute to get the game winner for the Trojans (4-9, 3-6 Class 4-A West).
"We switched some kids around to be more defensive-minded. We asked some kids to play a couple of different roles. It was probably a long time coming. We have been playing some close games, but when you lose as badly as we did last night, it was, hey, we have got to switch some things up," Trojan head coach Bryan Chadderdon said.
It's not that Riverton (10-6, 6-2 Class 4-A West) didn't have its chances, especially in the first half.
Overlapping Ryan Axthelm crossed a solid pass to Tristan White, but his header zipped passed the goal, just wide left. Minutes later, Gasper Neuhas's blast forced Trojan keeper Ethan Curtan to make a diving save, and in the 21st minute, Sam McMenamy nearly converted off a Wolverine corner kick.
The Trojans appeared to get an insurance goal in the 70th minute, but KW was whistled for offsides.
"We didn't do the things we had talked about doing. It was bad. Our wide guys were not doing a good job. Their role in this is to come back, show support, start it out there, get the ball in, and then they make their runs. But they weren't doing that. We just lose two supporting players," Wolverine head coach Erly Cornejo said.
Riverton, to its credit, didn't quit.
With just two minutes to play, Slade Becker, uncovered on the left side of the goal, hit a solid shot that smacked off the post - the third time the Wolverines hit the post in the match.
And just before the final whistle, White found the ball at his feet just inside the goal box, and was hit down from behind - a call, had it been made, would have given Riverton a penalty kick that could have tied the game and forced overtime. But no call came.
"The kid went through (Tristan's) back," Cornejo said.
Riverton will try to recover Tuesday, taking a long, school-day road trip to Evanston. The Wolverines defeated Evanston 2-0 earlier this season at Wolverine Field.
"Evanston will sit back and try to pack it in," Cornejo said.
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