May 5, 2013 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports EditorThe Lander Valley High School Tigers quickly shook off a boys soccer loss to Jackson Tuesday by blasting Torrington 6-0 Friday night at home.
Jackson pulled out a 2-1 victory Tuesday in showdown of two of the better teams in Class 3-A Jackson scored when a LVHS player accidentally kicked the ball in for the game-winning goal in the final minute of regulation.
"It was really tough because we played Jackson so good," LVHS forward Kyle Leemon said. "It was such an even match until that last second. They just got really lucky. We had a lot of opportunities. We were doing really well in getting the ball to the outside midfielders. We just got unlucky at the end."
Leemon came up with two goals in the big win over Torrington.
"I'm not sure that we carried over any frustration," Leemon said. "I think that everyone knew going into Torrington that this was a must-win game. We played our game and came out with a win."
Leemon has 17 goals on the season, which is the best in 3-A.
"It's helpful having a great team passing me the ball," Leemon said. "I don't really think about scoring that much. I don't try to force anything."
Leemon had 14 goals last year as a sophomore for the Tigers.
"I had a goal this year to get more than that," Leemon said.
LVHS entered the week third in the Class 3-A state rankings.
Jackson is No. 1, and Buffalo has the No. 2 position. Worland is No. 4, while Star Valley rounds out the rankings at No. 5.
"The Torrington win was a good one for us," LVHS coach Dan Howlett said. " A lot of the kids got a little bit of time. The varsity took care of business. A couple of kids were right on the money."
Lander 6, Torrington 0
Eli Lowham connected for the first goal of Friday's match in the fourth minute after Torrington's goalie couldn't stop the ball from rolling into the net. At the 15-minute mark, Leemon scored on a breakaway goal after receiving a pass from Josh Thoren.
"Torrington's defense was really playing a high line," Leemon said. "That gave me a lot of space. I just ran it down and finished."
Leemon's second goal came on a corner kick from Daniel Bolding. Leemon jumped high against Torrington's defense and headed it right in.
"It was a perfect pass," Leemon said. "We have been sort of unlucky on the corner kicks. We have only scored on a few. Daniel put the ball right where it needed to be. I just jumped up as high as I could and connected with my head. I just watched it go in."
Nate Linton scored right before half on another assist from Bolding for a commanding 4-0 lead for the home team.
"It was good to get a 4-0 start," Leemon said. "That gave us a really good cushion going into the second half. It made us a little more confident. It was a good opportunity for junior varsity players to get in and get some touches on the ball."
In the second half, Lowham and Jordan Crane scored for the Tigers.
LVHS ends the regular season at 3 p.m. Wednesday, May 8, hosting Rawlins in a conference match.
"I'm excited to play Rawlins," Leemon said. "I'm ready to take it to them and show them what we can really do."
Rawlins and LVHS tied 1-1 last month in Rawlins. If the Tigers win, they will be a No. 1 seed for the Class 3-A state tournament and won't have to take the field in a play-in game this weekend.
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