Apr 29, 2012 - By Craig Blumenshine, Staff WriterIf you happened to be just a minute late to Saturday's Riverton-Casper Kelly Walsh Class 4-A West boys soccer match, then you missed Riverton's first goal.
If you were just nine minutes late, then you missed all of the scoring as the Riverton Wolverines (3-6-2, 2-3-2 Class 4-A West) downed the Kelly Walsh Trojans 2-0 at Wolverine Field on Riverton's senior day.
Kade Salisbury took a pass from exchange student Jon Roldan on Riverton's first possession of the match and drilled a shot to the far post to give Riverton the quick 1-0 lead.
"We wrote that one up," RHS head coach Erly Cornejo joked after the match.
It was a wake up call for the Trojans, who played in Rock Springs and lost 2-1 Friday.
"It's like 'ahh.' You're sluggish anyways and you try to get them woke up. It's hard," Kelly Walsh head coach Bryan Chadderon said.
Just eight minutes later, Riverton freshman Tristan White took a perfect play from senior Josh Wright and White again beat Kelly Walsh keeper Conner Diller with another low blast to the keeper's right and far post to give Riverton its second goal and enough cushion to hang on for the win.
"We haven't won too many, but every win we get, it feels good," RHS senior Zach Zenk said.
The early offense was more than enough Saturday for Riverton.
"We've done that a couple of times. It pretty much sets the pace for the game. You score two goals in the first 10 minutes, and that's pretty downing for the other team," RHS senior keeper Logan Ridgway said.
The Wolverines have been working on playing through the middle to the outside, according to Zenk, and that practice paid dividends, especially in the first half.
"We came out and played really well. They play with a flat back four, and that helps us get behind the defense," Cornejo said.
Riverton tied Kelly Walsh 1-1 earlier this year in Casper.
Although Riverton controlled the midfield in the first half, Kelly Walsh was able to generate more offensive opportunities in the second half.
"We kind of lost track of that in the second half. You can tell them to (not play to lose) but I think naturally they just do. We fought hard and played organized defensively and that helps," Cornejo said.
For Kelly Walsh, now firmly in second place in the conference behind Rock Springs, it was their second straight setback after playing seven straight matches without a loss.
"We played last night in Rock Springs and traveled here. It was a tough match played in really bad conditions, and the kids were worn a little bit. Riverton was fresh. They opted not to play and that was frustrating for us. You play on the second day, you expect both teams to have played," Chadderon said after the match.
Riverton had been scheduled to play Casper Natrona in Casper Friday, but school officials reschedule the match to Monday, April 30, because of high wind in Casper.
After Monday's match, the Wolverines will travel on the road for their final weekend of regular season play with matches scheduled in Green River and Evanston.
The following week, the six West 4-A teams will gather in Rock Springs at the Class 4-A West regional tournament with four slots to the state tournament up for grabs.
"It (regionals) will be really interesting. Between us, Riverton and Rock Springs, I think those are the three teams that are fairly even. Natrona, if they show up, can do some damage," Chadderon said.
Halftime score - Riverton 2, Kelly Walsh 0
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