May 5, 2013 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports EditorElla Welsh paced the offensive charge for the Lander Tigers with two goals Friday afternoon in a 4-0 home girls soccer victory over Torrington.
Combined with a 5-0 win Thursday at Rawlins, the Tigers have won the Class 3-A Southeast title with a perfect 4-0 record. They will have a top seed for the state tournament.
The match Friday ended a highly successful regular season for LVHS. The Tigers are 10-3-1.
"I don't think that Torrington was our best game, but I do think that we always try hard," Welsh said. "Trying hard gets us places, and it did on Friday. Torrington always plays on the outside more. We really shut them down with our outside midfielders. They are always a little tougher than some teams."
LVHS now can focus in on the Class 3-A state tournament.
"I always wish that I was playing more soccer," Welsh said. "The break will give us a chance to work on some things."
The double-elimination tournament is May 16-18 in Jackson.
Torrington and Rawlins will now have to play play-in matches this weekend to qualify for state.
"It's a great thing for us that we can start planning for the state tournament, and we don't have to play next weekend," LVHS coach Dean Schaff said. "We got better in a couple of areas against Rawlins and Torrington. Those couple of areas, we have been struggling in. We played a good share of both games at 100 percent."
Jackson swept the LVHS girls this year. Cody edged the Tigers in the other loss.
"We have to continue to work on being at the end of crosses," Schaff said. "We have to work on winning the ball out of the air. We need to make sure that we are pressuring the goalkeeper on shots and that we are not giving up on the opportunities."
Lander 4, Torrington 0
Welsh gave a lot of credit to teammates Rachael Troxel and Audrya Tanango for keeping Torrington scoreless.
"We are all key players," Welsh said. "We are really balanced this year in the forward, middle and on the outside."
Taylor Meeks knocked the ball into the goal for the first score of the match nine minutes after the game started.
Four minutes later, Welsh scored on a penalty kick.
Torrington was called for a hand ball in the box to put Welsh in position for a penalty kick. Welsh hit her goal into the left side of the net.
"It was a lucky shot," Welsh said. "The last time that I kicked a penalty kick, I missed it in an indoor tournament."
With three minutes left in the first half, Morgan Gramlich added another goal. Lyndsey Crane had the assist.
"Lyndsey plays with a lot of energy," Schaff said. "That is what brings out the good in her. She has been working hard to improve her skills."
In the later stages of the contest, Welsh put in her second goal of the game on a breakaway for the four-goal margin.
"The goalie almost got it, but it bounced out of her hands," Welsh said.
Lander 5, Rawlins 0
"We scored pretty quick," Schaff said. "We were in there half the whole game. Troxel recorded a match-high two goals.
"I put in all of the junior varsity kids in and all the seniors in," Schaff said. Amy Hulkovich, Emily Schimelpfenig and Mak Meeks had one goal apiece.
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