May 12, 2013 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports EditorRock Springs upset the top-seeded Riverton Wolverines 1-0 Friday night in the Class 4-A West regional boys semifinal soccer match in Evanston.
The Wolverines made it back to the winning track with a 3-0 win over Casper Natrona in the third-place contest Saturday afternoon.
Rock Springs came into regionals as the No. 5 seed. RHS won the conference crown in the regular season.
Casper Kelly Walsh outlasted Rock Springs 5-4 in the West regional championship match.
"I thought that Friday we didn't play very well in the first half," RHS coach Erly Cornejo said. "In the second half, we just lacked energy. We didn't play man defense very well. We did have some good things going on, but it wasn't often enough for this time of the year."
The Wolverines played the regional tournament without the state's top scorer, Tristan White.
The forward missed the tournament because of hockey obligations. White will be in the lineup for the state tournament this week.
"It was just a team thing on Friday," Cornejo said. "We just didn't have any energy. It wouldn't have made a difference if Tristan was there or not."
The Wolverines head to the state tournament as a No. 3 seed, starting Thursday in Rock Springs.
"We just need to fine tune things," Cornejo said. "We just need to make sure that we are sharp."
The Wolverines play Laramie in the first match at state.
Gillette edged Laramie 2-1 in the Class 4-A East championship match. Sheridan is the No. 3 seed. Cheyenne Central placed in the fourth position from the East.
Riverton 3, Casper Natrona 0
"We just defended with energy," Cornejo said. "That is why we won six of seven games prior to regionals. They knew what was going to take. They did a really good job."
Cornejo felt the Wolverines were a balanced team in the three-goal victory.
"Scoring three goals should give us some confidence, knowing that we didn't have our goal scorer with us," Cornejo said.
Juan Buitrago scored in the 10th minute for the Wolverines to put them on the scoreboard.
Midway through the second half, Scot Sowards added a goal on a rebound off a corner kick.
"We have done a pretty decent job of late," Cornejo said. "We didn't score any at the start of the season. It was nice to see that."
Logan Hartbank finished the scoring off on a breakaway.
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