May 13, 2012 - By Craig Blumenshine, Staff WriterRiverton opens state tournament play Thursday against Sheridan.
CASPER -- It wasn't until the final moments of their Class 4-A West regional soccer semifinal match against the Casper Natrona Fillies that the Riverton Lady Wolverines knew that a championship appearance in the tournament wouldn't be in the cards.
But the 2-1 loss Friday was a dramatic improvement for coach Rick Bergstedt's squad -- the Lady Wolverines had been outscored by NC 10-1 in earlier games this season -- and came after the team had accomplished the main goal of the tournament, capturing a state tournament berth with a first round 3-1 win Thursday over Rock Springs.
"We played a great game (Friday). We had five or six opportunities that were just wide. We had them backing up and worried. It was a huge effort," Bergstedt said.
Riverton scoring leader Marcia Ashdown scored her 29th goal of the season on a penalty kick in the 69th minute to give Riverton momentum after falling behind by two goals.
"We played well defensively and limited Natrona's good chances to shots that we wanted them to take. Our defense played very composed, and that helped a lot," Bergstedt said.
Marquette Dowell and Emma Norvelle the two goals for NC.
Saturday, on tired legs, Riverton played its third game in three days and were outgunned by Green River 5-0 to end the conference tournament in fourth place.
The Lady Wolverines started out the game well and controlled the first 10 minutes of the contest. But after that it was all Green River. Riverton had defeated and tied the Lady Wolves in their two conference matches earlier this year.
"I think the extra day caught up to us. We didn't help ourselves out that much today anyway. It is one of those games you need to get over and done with and move on after playing two really good games," Bergstedt said.
Morgan Wyant scored twice early, and Tayliann Cutler, Sarah Christiansen and Tessa Williams also found the net for the Lady Wolves.
Green River, playing only its second game of the tournament, fell to Kelly Walsh 3-2 in their first match but rebounded against Riverton to finish third.
Saturday afternoon, Natrona blew a 2-0 lead and lost to Kelly Walsh 4-2 in the West championship match.
The Lady Wolverines will play Sheridan in the first round of the Class 4-A state soccer tournament Thursday at the Big Horn Equestrian complex near Sheridan. The Lady Broncs defeated Gillette 2-1 and Cheyenne Central 1-0 to capture the Class 4-A East regional title in Laramie. Game time is set for 2:30 p.m.
Halftime, Riverton vs. Natrona
Natrona 1, Riverton 0
Halftime, Riverton vs. Green River
Green River 3, Riverton 0
Girls High School soccer state tournament pairings
Thursday, May 17th:
(4E) Laramie vs. (1W) Kelly Walsh - 9:30 a.m.
(3W) Green River vs. (2E) Central - 9:30 a.m.
(3E) Gillette vs. (2W) Natrona - 2:30 p.m.
(4W) Riverton vs. (1E) Sheridan - 2:30 p.m.
Thursday, May 17
Pinedale vs. (1 NW) Cody - 9 a.m.
Star Valley vs. (1 SE) Lander - 9 a.m.
Powell/Torrington winner vs. (1 NE) Buffalo - 2 p.m.
Worland vs. (1 SW) Jackson - 2 p.m.
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