Jun 3, 2014 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports EditorTaylor Meeks capped off her girls soccer career for the Lander Tigers by winning the Wyoming Class 3-A Upperclassmen of the Year award.
Meeks has been a mainstay for the Tigers the last three years.
The 2014 graduate was a Class 3-A all-state selection in her junior year.
"Every team we faced this year had to mark Taylor, and sometimes she would be marked with two girls," Lander coach Dean Schaff said. "When other teams have to game play for one player, that player is special."
Meeks was a perfect role model for the underclassmen on the team.
"Taylor has worked hard for a long time to reach this goal," Schaff said. "She has given younger players a goal or target to shoot for. Taylor led by example, allowing others to follow."
Teammates Ella Welsh, Rachel Troxel, Codi Swenson and Ashlyn Schamber joined Meeks on the 3-A all-state team.
The Tigers placed second at the state tournament in Jackson, losing to Buffalo 1-0 in a shootout for the championship.
In early matches, Lander blanked Jackson 1-0 and Worland 1-0.
Welsh is a repeat all-state selection for the Tigers in the midfield position.
"Alicia Esponsia and Ella were solid in the midfield," Schaff said. "Defense starts with the forwards and then goes back. Midfielders play a lot of defense as well as offense."
Welsh contributed in the scoring department.
"Ella is well rounded. She can pass, dribble, shoot and defend," Schaff said.
Lander's defense allowed five goals all season.
Mak Meeks and Codi Swenson were keys for Lander defense.
Meeks made the Class 3-A East all-conference team.
"They took pride in not letting people score," Schaff said. "Codi's greatest strength is her leadership. The communication in our back line was second to none. Team-work, strength and skill allowed Codi to reach the all-state team."
Schamber was the top goalie this year in the Class 3-A ranks.
"Ashyln is an athlete, and good athletes make great keepers," Schaff said. "Most coaches believe the keeper needs to be the best athlete on the team. Ashlyn understands how to compete. Playing basketball helped her find that next level in soccer."
Class 3-A all-state girls soccer
Forwards -- Rileigh Olson, Buffalo; Livi Glassock, Buffalo; Hannah Bailey, Cody; Taylor Meeks, Lander; Valerie Vidal, Pinedale; Jessica Woodford, Star Valley.
Midfielders -- Olivia Spanos, Buffalo; Teneil Schumacher, Buffalo; Sami Heimer, Cody; Taylor Graue, Jackson; Ella Welsh, Lander; Rachel Troxel, Lander; Dakota Bateman, Star Valley' Hailey Schneider, Worland.
Defenders -- Teara Gass, Buffalo; Nicole Monroe, Buffalo; Mariah Shumard, Cody; Codi Swenson, Lander; Sadie Hokum, Star Valley; Kali Lempka, Worland.
Goalies -- Faith Hamlin, Jackson; Ashlyn Schamber, Lander; Ana Hepp, Worland.
3-A Upperclassmen of the Year -- Taylor Meeks, Lander.
3-A Underclassmen of the YEar -- Rileigh Olsen, Buffalo.
Rileigh Olsen, Buffalo; Lvi Glassock, Buffalo; Taylor Henwood, Douglas; Taylor Meeks, Lander; Katara Cade, Newcastle; Madi Werner, Torrington.
Midfielders -- Olivia Spanos, Buffalo; Teneil Schumacher, Buffalo; Hanna Peterson, Buffalo; Alicia Esponisa, Lander; Ella Welsh, Lander; Rachel Troxel, Lander; Scottlyn Wiggins, Newcastle; Elizabeth Chavarria, Torrington.
Defenders -- Teara Gass, Buffalo; Nicole Monroe, Buffalo; Makayla Meeks, Lander; Codi Swenson, Lander; Morgan Gramlich, Lander; Anna Robinson, Lander; Courtney Munger, Newcastle; Alex Sutherland, Torrington.
Goalie -- Aubrey Larsen, Douglas; Ashlyn Schamber, Lander; Kelsey Wood, Newcastle.
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