May 6, 2012 - By Craig Blumenshine, Staff WriterThey started and finished Saturday's high school soccer match sitting in their new rocking chairs.
And, like a retirement couple enjoying the porch on a nice Saturday afternoon, Rick and Peggy Bergstedt, with their daughter Megan at their side, coached their final home match of their joint 26-year soccer career at Riverton High School.
They loved the outcome, a 4-1 win for their Lady Wolverines over Evanston.
After a 2-2 overtime time tie with Green River on Friday, Riverton (7-5-2, 5-3-2 Class 4-A West) now looks forward to a first-round Class 4-A West regional tournament match Thursday in Casper. Although official brackets will be published Monday, Rick Bergstedt believes Riverton, the West fourth seed, will open against the Rock Springs Lady Tigers in must win game in order to qualify for the state tournament the following week in Sheridan.
"I think we can attack Rock Springs. They are a little easier to defend," Bergstedt said.
Prior to Saturday's match, RHS assistant coach Tanya Santee read a beautiful tribute to the Bergstedts with contributions from former players and the team presented the longtime coaches with engraved white rocking chairs that the coaching couple sat in to enjoy the ceremony.
Both Rick and Peggy Bergstedt are retiring from their Riverton school teaching and coaching positions after this season.
Green River 2, Riverton 2
The Lady Wolves lit up the Wolverine Field scoreboard first Friday when Brittany Barenz was unmarked in front of the Riverton goal and found the back of the net to put Green River up by one in the 15th minute.
Seven minutes later, Baylee Stafford played a nice ball up the right sideline and Marcia Ashdown drilled a shot that tied the game at 1-1.
Ashdown almost gave Riverton a halftime lead at the 30th minute, but her rocket clanked off the right post and Riverton couldn't convert the rebound.
The Lady Wolves had the last good chance in the first half, but Riverton keeper Macy Evans jumped straight up to make a two-hand grab and save to keep the game tied at the half.
In the second half, Green River's Tessa Williams gave her team the lead at 2-1 in the 51st minute, but Stafford, assisted by Ashdown, tied the score for Riverton with five minutes left in regulation.
"We played pretty well. We defended reasonably well, particularly in the second half, and they have some good attacking players," Bergstedt said.
Riverton had the best opportunity to win in overtime when Ashdown's corner kick almost "bananaed" in at the 92nd minute mark, but deflected off the far post, and the game ended in a tie.
Evanston 1, Riverton 4
Ashdown, on her senior day, finally got a shot past Evanston's Rebekka Kunz. Bergstedt believes she is the conference's top keeper, and she made several tough saves Saturday, in the 11th minute to put Riverton up by one early.
But the Lady Red Devils bounced right back. Evanston's Amber Derrick's free kick from 35-yards out slipped past Evans to tie the score at 1-1.
Lady Wolverine Alexis Oaks, also a senior, gave Riverton the lead for good with a penalty kick in the 17th minute, and Ashdown, with an assist from Taylor Paskett-Krause, and Oaks both scored in the second half to give Riverton the win in their final regular season match.
"Evanston came out with a lot of energy and made it a little tough. We did some things in the first half that were not in our best interest in terms of having tired legs. We were still trying to play a lot of through balls. We were maybe a little anxious," Bergstedt said.
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