May 21, 2014 - By Craig Blumenshine, Staff WriterWhile breaking their final practice huddle of the year at Wolverine Field Tuesday evening, the Riverton High School boys soccer team yelled "Championship!" as the Wolverines prepared to head to Rock Springs for the Wyoming high school Class 4-A state soccer tournament.
The Wolverines, regular season champions of the Class 4-A West, take on the Cheyenne Central Indians at 1:30 p.m. Thursday at Rock Springs High School.
Riverton (13-7, 8-2 Class 4-A West) enters the tournament as the second seed from the West after losing to Green River 2-1 in the championship match of the Class 4-A West regional tournament last Saturday in Riverton.
The Wolverines advanced to the championship game with a 3-2 overtime semi-final win over Casper Kelly Walsh last Friday.
"That's the past. These guys have wanted a state championship. It's just going to be, 'can they come out and play like they want it?' There is a difference between wanting something so bad that you are willing to work so hard for it and wanting something like it's OK to have. That is what they'll have to develop," Riverton head coach Erly Cornejo said.
Cheyenne Central (9-4-1, 6-3-1 Class 4-A East) beat Cheyenne South 8-1, lost to Gillette, the eventual East tournament champion, 1-0, and beat Cheyenne East 3-0 to earn the third seed from the East in its regional tournament last week in Gillette.
The Indians have one of the stingiest defenses in Wyoming, having surrendered just 11 goals this season, which ranks third in Class 4-A behind Gillette and Laramie. Gillette and Laramie have yielded just seven and eight goals, respectively.
By contrast, Riverton has been scored on 34 times this season, ranking the Wolverines in the bottom four of Class 4-A defensively.
But topped the Wyoming stat charts on offense during the regular season. Tristan White and Dietrik Becker were first and tied for third in Class 4-A assists with 10 and 7, and White led the state in scoring with 17 regular-season goals.
"These guys have played in championship games. They have experienced it. We didn't play well in the regional championship. As long as they learn from it -- what they did wrong and how to fix it," Cornejo said.
Class 4-A state soccer
at Rock Springs:
Thursday, May 22: (All games at Rock Springs High School)
No. 4E Cheyenne East vs. No. 1WGreen River -- 9 a.m.
No. 3W Rock Springs vs. No. 2ELaramie -- 11 a.m.
No. 3ECheyenne Central vs. No. 2W Riverton -- 1:30 p.m.
No. 4W Kelly Walsh vs. No. 1E Gillette -- 3:30 p.m.
Friday, May 23: (All games at Rock Springs Junior High School)
East/Green River loser vs. Rock Springs/Laramie loser -- 9 a.m.
Central/Riverton loser vs. Kelly Walsh/Gillette loser -- 11 a.m.
East/Green River winner vs. Rock Springs/Laramie winner -- 1:30 p.m.
Central/Riverton winner vs. Kelly Walsh/Gillette winner -- 3:30 p.m.
Saturday, May 24
Consolation Championship -- 11 a.m. (RSHS)
Third Place Match -- 11 a.m. (RSJH)
Championship Match -- 3:30 p.m. (RSJS)
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