May 19, 2014 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports EditorSome Class 3-A girls soccer teams give up two goals in a span of 40 minutes.
The Lander Tigers, one of the strongest defensive units during the regular season, have allowed just two goals all season to Class 3-A opponents.
Goalie anchor Ashlyn Schamber makes stops in net. Codi Swenson and Mak Meeks are the center fullbacks.
Anna Robinson and Morgan Gramlich are the outside fullbacks.
"I knew that we had a lot of girls returning," Swenson said Friday afternoon during practice. "I knew that we were going to be really good again this year."
But Swenson didn't expect to have such a low number on the defensive end.
"It's really rewarding," Swenson said. "It shows a lot about our defense and our goalie. We work together a lot, and we depend on each other from getting scored on. If we mess up, then we know that Ashlynn is there. We have a lot of support for each other."
The girls have adjusted to their roles from the start.
"Anna and Morgan are fast on the outside," Meeks said. "Codi and I are strong stealing the ball on the inside and keeping everybody organized."
Lander has put up a 13-1 record on the season.
The only loss was a 2-1 loss to class 4-A Green River in a two-day tournament.
"Last year, I kind of thought that we were going to do great things," Meeks said. "It just didn't pan out for us, but this year is turning into something that is going to be great."
Lander didn't have to play in the qualifying match for state after winning the 3-A Southeast regular-season title.
"We had two of the center fullbacks coming back," Lander coach Dean Schaff said. "We just had to find some speed. The two on the outside have done a great job."
Jackson blanked Douglas 7-0 on Friday afternoon in a must-win qualifying regional game for the state tournament.
The Tigers are a No. 1 seed for the state Class 3-A tournament Thursday through Saturday in Jackson.
Lander faces Jackson in the opening round on Thursday.
"Everybody on this team works really hard," Swenson said. "We have a lot of freshmen that have stepped up. I just knew that everyone was going to work really hard for this. We don't get panicked if we get scored on."
That doesn't happen often.
The other goals scored against Lander this year were by Star Valley and Cody.
The score in a 2-1 victory for Lander over Cody came in the first 10 minutes of the game. Cody and Lander are two of the top-ranked teams in Class 3-A.
"When we get scored upon we kind of lose our formation," Swenson said. "We had kind of a miscommunication. It was kind of a tough play. It's just something that happens."
Lander knotted the score before halftime to get the momentum back
"It was key to get the momentum back," Swenson said.
Get your copy of The Ranger online, every day! If you are a current print subscriber and want to also access dailyranger.com online (there is nothing more to purchase) including being able to download The Mining and Energy Edition, click here. Looking to start a new online subscription to dailyranger.com (even if it is for just one day)? Access our secure SSL encrypted server and start your subscription now by clicking here.