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Tiger girls in state semifinals
Lander Valley High School defender Mak Meeks challenged for the ball Thursday morning in the first round of the Class 3-A state tournament at the big Horn Equestrian Center near Sheridan. The Tigers escaped with a 3-2 win over Star Valley. Photo by Bruce Tippets

Lander girls win state 3-A soccer opener 3-2; Cody awaits in semis

May 17, 2012 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports Editor

BIG HORN -- Allison Schimming scored the game-winning goal Thursday morning with two minutes left in regulation to lift Lander Valley High School edge Star Valley 3-2 in the opening round of the Class 3-A state girls soccer tournament at the Big Horn Equestrian Center.

Schimming got behind Star Valley's defense for the late goal.

"The game was just amazing," Schimming said. "The whole week we have been talking about focusing. It's nice to be able to come out and do that here against Star Valley.

"Getting the game-winning goal was just fantastic. I just waited to the last second when I had the ball at the end to kick it into the left side."

The game looked as if it would go into overtime.

"I knew the game was getting down to the wire," Schimming said. "We had to come together focused and get that goal."

LVHS entered the double-elimination tournament as the No. 1 seed from the Southeast, and Star Valley was the No. 2 seed from the from the Southwest.

This was the first meeting of the season between the Tigers and the Braves.

The win put the Tigers into Friday's afternoon semifinal vs. Cody at 2 p.m. The Fillies blanked Pinedale 7-0 in the other early morning game on Thursday. In the 2011 state semifinal tournament, LVHS beat Cody before the Tigers lost to Jackson in the title match.

"We can't lose our focus on Friday against Cody," Schimming said. "Cody has a couple of good players, and they win the 50-50 balls. They have really good first touches. We need to focus on good passes."

Lander 3, Star Valley 2

The Tigers scored twice before the game had reached the midway point of the first half. Schimming had the first goal, and Taylor Meeks delivered the second score.

"I was surprised that we scored those two goals in the first half," Schimming said. "They were both nice through balls, and we were able to finish them. Having that momentum going into the second half was helpful."

Star Valley scored with 18 minutes left in the first half to climb back into the match at 2-1. Bailey Brog was credited for the goal.

The Braves deadlocked the score at 2-2 on a high shot by K.C. Schooner that went over the arms of LVHS goalkeeper Kristi Ragan. The goal came in the middle of the second half.

Before the final goal of the match, the Tigers were putting all kinds of pressure on Star Valley's defense. In the final 10 minutes, LVHS had back-to-back corner kicks, and Meeks had an opportunity on a breakaway.

"We weren't passing the way that we should at the end,"Schimming said. "We were just kind of kicking the ball. In the last couple of minutes, we were able to settle down and just pass around to play our game. Everything just fell into place at the end of the game."

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