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Lander girls carry top record into state soccer

May 21, 2014 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports Editor

The Lander Tigers closed out the regular season with a 10-game winning streak.

The best record in the Class 3-A girls soccer regular ...

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The Lander Tigers closed out the regular season with a 10-game winning streak. The best record in the Class 3-A girls soccer regular season was chalked up by the Lander Tigers at 14-1. Now the chase for a state championship begins. The draw for the 3-A state tournament is an opening-round match Thursday with host Jackson. Game time is 9 a.m. Jackson finished the season with a 8-6-1 mark. Lander swept Jackson 2-0 and 5-0 in the regular season. "We have had a great year," Lander coach Dean Schaff said. "The girls are excited and ready to play. The time off has allowed us to get healthy, regain some energy, and prepare for the state tournament." Lander won 10 in a row to close out the regular season. The only loss was 2-1 in overtime to Green River in a tournament in Green River. Lander didn't have to play last weekend after earning the No. 1 seed from the Southeast conference. Opponent Jackson finished second in the Class 3-A Southwest conference and played Douglas in a regional soccer qualifying play-in game on Friday afternoon, winning 7-0. "Jackson has slowly worked their way back into the rankings. We just need to play one game at a time. Jackson possesses the ball well, and they are aggressive to 50-50 balls in the air," Schaff said. "Jackson is definitely a tough draw. Jackson is playing good as a team and has come a long way this season," Schaff said. Worland (No. 1 seed/Northwest) plays Newcastle (No. 2 seed/Northeast) at 9 a.m. in the other first-0round game. The winner plays the Lander-Jackson winner at 2 p.m. in the semifinals on Friday. "We need to have fun and enjoy the moment," Schaff said. "We have proven we can play. How we handle the pressure and atmosphere will be key." At 2 p.m. Thursday, Buffalo (No. 1 seed/Northwest) battles Powell (No. 3 seed/Northwest). Star Valley (No. 1 seed/Southwest) go against Cody (No. 2 seed/Northwest) in the other 2 p.m. in the bottom half of the bracket. "Anybody could come out of the bottom half of the bracket," Schaff said. "It's always fun and exciting. We need a lot of Lander fans to make some noise." Class 3-A state tournament bracket in Jackson Thursday 9 a.m. -- Worland (No. 1 seed/Northwest) vs. Newcastle (No. 2 seed/Northwest). 9 a.m. -- Lander (No. 1 seed/Southwest) vs. Jackson (No. 2 seed/Southwest). 2 p.m. -- Buffalo (No. 1 seed/Northeast) vs. Powell (No. 3 seed/Northwest). 2 p.m. -- Star Valley (No. 1 seed/Southwest) vs. Cody (No. 2 seed/Northwest). Note: Championship game will be played on Saturday at 1 p.m. in Lander.

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