May 1, 2012 - By Craig Blumenshine, Staff WriterAfter a long goal kick from goalkeeper Logan Ridgway, Riverton's Tristan White beat the Casper Natrona defense and keeper with a nifty left-footed shot to the near post in the 75th minute Monday to give the Riverton boys soccer team a big 2-1 victory over the Casper Natrona Mustangs at Cheney Alumni Field in Casper.
It was an important win for Riverton and lifts the Wolverines (4-6-2 overall, 3-3-2 Class 4-A West) to a tie for third place in the Class 4-A West conference with Green River, which Riverton plays this Friday on the road.
With luck, the Wolverines could grab a second-place regional tournament seed and an automatic berth to the state tournament if they win Friday and in Evanston Saturday in their final regular season match. Riverton also would need some help from Casper Natrona, which would need to beat or tie Casper Kelly Walsh this Thursday for Riverton to have a shot at second.
Riverton 2, Natrona 1
Playing the rescheduled match Monday in Casper, Riverton scored first in the 20th minute.
"Lars (Becker) sent the ball into the box and Zach (Zenk) ended up beating the defense to the ball and made a nice strike to the far left corner. He placed it really well," Riverton head coach Erly Cornejo said.
Natrona's Paul Santistevan answered four minutes later on a rebound from a set play that Riverton could not clear to make the score 1-1 at halftime.
Natrona had a good opportunity late in the second half to take the lead, but a spectacular save by Ridgway kept the score knotted at 1-1
"Logan had the greatest save I have ever seen. It was a rip right around the 18. It was going top left and somehow, I don't know what he did, he snatched it out of the air. He didn't punch it out, he actually grabbed it. It was awesome," Cornejo said.
White's game winner came when Marcus Morrison fought for a wind-aided goal kick and got the ball to White.
"I don't know if he deflected it or not, but it came off somebody's head. Tristan came up with it with one man to beat in the box, and he beat him pretty easily," Cornejo said.
The Wolverines were without center back Mike Jones, and Reed Campbell and Deitrik Becker could not play the whole match. Kade Salisbury, usually a midfield force for Riverton, was moved to play defensive center back.
"That thinned out our midfield. With the guys we had playing, I am pleased with how we played. We have to play with who we have. Having some of these other kids like Scot (Sowards), Jon (Roldan) and Marcus (Morrison) get some minutes in is actually pretty nice. They are getting some minutes they normally wouldn't have, and it is making us deeper than I thought we were," Cornejo said.
Halftime: Riverton 1- Natrona 1.
Boys Class 4-A West standings
3 points for win, 1 for tie
Rock Springs 7-1, 21 points; 9-3-1, 28 points
Kelly Walsh 5-3-1, 16 points; 6-4-2, 20 points
Riverton 3-3-2, 11 points; 4-6-2, 14 points
Green River 3-3-2, 11 points; 3-6-2, 11 points
Natrona 2-4-1, 7 points; 2-9-1, 7 points
Evanston 1-5-2, 5 points; 2-8-2, 8 points
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