Mar 25, 2013 - By Craig Blumenshine, Staff WriterSandhofer and Buitargo had the Riverton goals Friday
Call it Riverton's foreign connection.
Jannik Sandhofer and Juan Buitargo, both exchange students who play for the Riverton Wolverine boys soccer team, scored late in the second half to give Class 4-A Riverton a 2-0 win over the Class 3-A Worland Warriors Friday at Wolverine Field.
The non-conference victory was the first of the year for the Wolverines (1-0-1) and sets up what may be Riverton's most challenging week of soccer, according to head coach Erly Cornejo.
Tuesday, Riverton hosts fifth-ranked Casper Kelly Walsh at Wolverine Field. RHS will battle top-ranked Gillette on Thursday, also at home. Both varsity games are scheduled for 5 p.m.
Against Worland, it took the Wolverines until the 69th minute to finally get on the board when Sandhofer ripped a right-footed rocket that found the back of the net over the top of Worland goalkeeper Nathan Barrus and gave the Wolverines momentum.
Just four minutes later, Buitargo provided the insurance with his left foot to the left side of the net.
"We were able to play a lot of kids, and I was so pleased with the effort. My biggest fear was that these kids have the skill but wouldn't have the effort. I've been surprised," Cornejo said.
Early in the match, Logan Hartbank and Aaron Nirider were able to generate offensive pressure but couldn't score.
After Worland generated a shot during the game's first minute on Riverton keeper Michael Jones, both Hartbank and Nirider, along with Dietrick Becker, responded with good looks of their own in the game's first 10 minutes.
Riverton's next opportunity came on its first corner kick when Nirider sent it to Xavier Webb, playing up from his normal defensive position. Webb beat Barrus, but Warrior fullback Braxton Martinez was in the net and made the save.
"It was nice for us to see that other players can score," Cornejo said, noting that Riverton was without top returning scorer Tristan White for Friday's match.
Worland's best chance came at the end for the first half when Alex Wassum sent a pass across the net to a sliding Jacob Mc-Gavin, who just missed putting it in the right corner.
Riverton was scheduled to open conference play Saturday in Rock Springs but that game was postponed because of weather and will be rescheduled.
Rock Springs is on spring break this week.
Riverton 0 2 -- 2
Worland 0 0 -- 0
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