News of Riverton, Lander and Fremont County, Wyoming, from the Ranger's award winning journalists.
Wolverines drop two razor-thin matches, ousted at state soccer
May 23, 2014 - By Craig Blumenshine, Staff Writer
The Riverton Wolverines scored a goal late but fell to the Kelly Walsh Trojans 3-2 in a shootout Friday to end their season at the Wyoming Class 4-A state soccer tournament in Rock Springs.
On Thursday, the Cheyenne Central Indians boys soccer team scored two quick first-half goals, added a third late, and held on for a first-round 3-2 win over Riverton.
Riverton, state qualifiers for six consecutive seasons, ends this year with a 13-9 overall record. The Wolverines won the 4-A West regular season conference title.
Cheyenne 3, Riverton 2
With the win Thursday, Central advanced to the state semifinals Friday afternoon to play Gillette, a 3-2 winner over Kelly Walsh.
Against a tentative defense, Marcus Ferrari scored twice for Central (10-4-1) in the sixth and 12th minutes to give the Indians early momentum.
"For some reason, we stepped off the gas pedal. It was critical in that little block that we got scored on. We just mis-communicated," Riverton head coach Erly Cornejo said.
But the Wolverines came out firing in the second half. Tristan White and Scot Sowards both ripped solid shots on goal before White battled for a loose ball in front of the net and blasted Riverton's first goal at point-blank range in the 43rd minute.
"At halftime, we talked about possession, high pressure, and trusting each other. They did great. My big thing is you have to believe and work hard, and they absolutely did that in the second half," Cornejo said.
Down 2-1, the Wolverines had a defensive breakdown late in the match and Tayton Montgomery added a goal to make the score 3-1 in the 70th minute.
But Riverton wasn't done.
With solid Wolverine pressure, Central was whistled for a hand ball in the box. White hit the penalty kick in the 75th minute to pull Riverton to 3-2.
White, Sowards, Deitrik Becker and Sam McMenamy kept the pressure on late, but the Wolverines could not get the equalizer and dropped to consolation play.
KW 3, Riverton 2
Riverton gave up a goal in the 19th minute, but Marcus Morrison got an equalizer in the 73rd minute to keep Riverton in the match. The late fireworks were just starting.
The Trojans battled right back and scored a go-ahead goal in the 75th minute, but White nailed a penalty kick in extra time to force overtime.
During the two overtime periods, Kelly Walsh played a defensive set, trying to survive to a shootout. The strategy paid off.
Kelly Walsh won the shootout, hitting its first four penalty kicks. Caleb Ogg, White and McMenamy hit Riverton's penalty kicks, but Becker and Caleb Richmond were stopped.
The Wolverines return most of their players for the 2015 campaign, but say goodbye to seniors Lars Becker, Ty Woodward, Morrison and Ogg.
"I'm going to hold my head high, and so are the kids," Cornejo said.
Class 4-A state soccer
at Rock Springs
Thursday, May 22
(All games at Rock Springs
Green River 2, Cheyenne East 1
Laramie 2, Rock Springs 1
Central 3, Riverton 2
Gillette 3, Riverton 2
Friday, May 23
(All games at Rock Springs Junior High School)
Rock Springs 3, Cheyenne East 1
Kelly Walsh 3, Riverton 2 (shootout)
Semifinals Friday afternoon
Green River vs. Laramie
Gillette vs. Central
Saturday, May 24
Rock Springs vs. Kelly Walsh - 11 a.m. (RSHS)
Third Place Match -- 11 a.m. (RSJH)
Championship -- 3:30 p.m. (RSJS)