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Wolverine boys seeded No. 1 for West regional
Jannik Sandhofer (9) is part of the attack for the Riverton High School boys soccer team. Photo by Wayne Nicholls

Wolverine boys seeded No. 1 for West regional

May 8, 2013 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports Editor

Leading goal scorer Tristan White won't play this weekend because of a hockey obligation.

Momentum is rolling in a positive way for the Riverton Wolverines boys soccer team this weekend at the Class 4-A West regional tournament in Evanston.

The Wolverines claimed the No. 1 seed for the tournament after winning two straight over Evanston and Rock Springs last weekend at Wolverine Field.

RHS finished the conference season with a 6-3-1 record.

"There has been a lot of understanding that there were some changes that needed to be made," RHS coach Erly Cornejo said. "They have done a good job at executing some of those things as far as trust and ball movement."

With the No. 1 seed, the Wolverines don't have to play Thursday in the must-win matches.

RHS already has a Class 4-A state tournament berth locked up for next week in Rock Springs.

"It's very important that we have the No. 1 seed," Cornejo said. "

For one, we have a couple of kids that are injured, and it gives us a couple of days rest. There isn't as much pressure to play them if we don't need to."

RHS plays at 3 p.m. Friday in Evanston vs. either Rock Springs (No. 5 seed) and Evanston (No. 4 seed).

"You are set up better for the rest of the tournament," Cornejo said.

The loser of the Evanston-Rock Springs match will be finished for the season.

"The last time that we played Evanston and Rock Springs, we scored four goals on each of them," Cornejo said.

He doesn't want the Wolverines to let up at the regional tournament.

"I think that it's important for the momentum," Cornejo said. "I think that everybody is pretty even across the state this year."

No White

RHS sophomore forward Tristan White will miss the regional tournament this weekend because of hockey obligations. He will play next week at state.

White is the Class 4-A leader in goals scored at 14.

"Tristan is a really good player," Cornejo said. "He is really big and fast. He has a good touch."

Cornejo isn't surprised with how White is playing this year on the soccer field.

"When you can play with both speed and you are that big and strong," Cornejo said. "That takes you a long way in soccer."

White scored two goals Saturday in the conference clincher with Evanston, teammate Logan Hartbank and Scot Sowards added one goal apiece.

"In the Evanston game, we saw some goals from other people," Cornejo said. "We did a good job of executing on set pieces that game." White missed an early match this year when the Wolverines beat Worland.

"My main concern is Tristan is on fire, you would like to keep playing," Cornejo said.

Worland is a ranked No. 4 in the Class 4-A division.

"As long as we keep trusting in people and moving the ball around, anybody can score on the team." Cornejo said. "We have a lot of good players in a lot of good spots."

Goalkeeper

Another reason the Wolverines enter the postseason on a strong note is the play of goalkeeper Michael Jones.

"I think that he is doing a good job," Cornejo said. "He is getting more comfortable."

Jones has turned into one of the top goalkeepers in the West conference. "We haven't given up too many shots," Cornejo said.

Regional Field

Kelly Walsh is the No. 2 seed for the regional tournament.

"It was really nice to have Evanston playing as well as they have played this year," Cornejo said. "Every game on our schedule this year was tough. It was a real battle. That just makes us better. It forces us to be more consistent when we play. Hopefully, that will give us an advantage going into the state tournament. "

The title game is at 1 p.m. Saturday.

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