May 12, 2013 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports EditorLander will have a No. 1 seed at the state tournament in Jackson.
After deadlocking Rawlins 1-1 in the first meeting, the Lander Valley High School Tigers converted their scoring chances in the rematch and took a 5-0 boys soccer victory Wednesday afternoon over the Outlaws.
The win at the LVHS soccer field secured the Class 3-A Southeast title for the Tigers.
LVHS now takes a No. 1 seed into the state tournament May 16-18 in Jackson. Rawlins played a play-in match Saturday against Star Valley to get to state.
"We played them very strong the first time," LVHS coach Dan Howlett said. "We just couldn't get the ball in. We played them very strong Wednesday. We got the ball in."
LVHS finished the regular season 11-3-1.
"We have kids who are starting to connect that weren't earlier," Howlett said. "We are getting a lot of balanced scoring. We are starting to score off set plays."
The Tigers play either Douglas or Powell in the opening round of the state tournament.
"I feel like we are ready for the state tournament," LVHS defensive back Josh Thoren said. "We are coming together at the right time. We will have to play our game and control the ball."
Thoren got one of Lander's five goals in the pounding of the Outlaws. He is a four year starter for the Tigers.
"I don't know what happened the first time that we played them" Thoren said. "The second game, we came out and finished the ball. We moved the ball around. We passed it around great. It was an overall great game for us."
LVHS is ranked No. 3 in Class 3-A.
"We were really using our outside this game and our crosses," Thoren said. "We have depth in our bench, which is great. It allows us to sub."
Howlett said the Tigers didn't go deep into their bench Wednesday night.
"It was one of those games that we didn't play a lot of junior varsity players," Howlett said. "We brought in four or five subs for the second half because they will be going to state."
Lander 5, Rawlins 0
LVHS starter Noah Lowham headed in the first score in at the 13th minute.
Eight minutes before the break, Eli Lowham crossed the ball to teammate Kyle Leemon, who put in the second goal.
In the final minutes of the first half, Eli Lowham the third goal.
In the second half, Leemon had a bullet on a shot, and Thoren scored on a rebound. Trapper Lee put in the final goal for the home squad.
"Our defense is really solid this year between two seniors and two juniors."
Thoren and Dustin Clark are the two seniors. Casey Winger and Adan Arrendando make up the rest of the defense.
"We really work great together," Thoren said. "We talk well. We swing the ball."
LVHS goalkeeper Jess Oldham had a couple of saves in the final 40 minutes.
"Jess has come a long way in the two years that he has played," Thoren said. "He really talks with the defense. He is not scared to come out and get the ball."
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