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Battling injuries, RHS girls end fourth at regional soccer

May 12, 2013 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports Editor

Riverton opens state tournament play Thursday against Laramie.

Two Casper girls soccer teams knocked the Riverton Wolverines into the No. 4 state seed with victories at the Class 4-A West regional tournament this weekend in Evanston.

After clinching a state tournament spot by defeating Evanston 2-1 in the opening round, the Wolverines fell to Casper Natrona 3-0 Friday in one of the regional semifinals.

Casper Kelly Walsh blanked RHS 5-0 for third place on Saturday.

"Both those teams are good teams, but despite Saturday's score we played our best soccer the last two days," RHS coach Tanya Santee said. "We just made little mistakes, and they capitalized. We had to change our defense up because of some injuries. We played Casper Natrona super hard."

The Wolverines will be seeded fourth from the West at the state tournament Thursday through Saturday in Rock Springs.

Riverton opens at 9 a.m. Thursday against Laramie from the East conference.

Laramie blanked Cheyenne East 2-0 for the 4-A East regional championship.

"We will work on our shooting this week in practice," Santee said. "We had lots of opportunities against Kelly Walsh. We will work on some defense."

Key injuries

RHS played the third-place match without regular starters Karissa Kister and Rachel Graham.

Kister is a defender, Graham a midfielder.

"Karissa just has a lot of speed on that defensive line for us," Santee said. "Kelly Walsh had a couple of fast girls that made really good runs. Every time they were able to get a ball over our defender they scored."

Both players hurt their left knees. Santee said they are questionable for the state tournament.

Santee felt the Wolverines controlled the ball on their half of the field for the majority of the mach against Kelly Walsh.

"We generated more offense in the last two days than we have in any games during the regular season," Santee said. "It was really hard to tell the kids that they had their best game of the season and they got beat 5-0."

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