May 15, 2013 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports EditorTwo Lander Valley High School Tigers teams move into the Class 3-A soccer state tournament in Jackson with No. 1 seeds.
At 9 a.m. Thursday, the LVHS girls face Worland in the first match of the state tournament.
The LVHS boys play Powell at 11 a.m. Thursday in the opening round of the double-elimination tournament.
LVHS won the boys and girls Southeast division to earn the top seeds. There is no regional tournament in 3-A soccer.
"Before the season started, I knew that if we could win our conference, then we would be in the best position we have been in years for the state tournament," LVHS boys coach Dan Howlett said. "In the quarterfinal round, if the kids play like they have all year, it shouldn't be a huge test. It's a good position for us to be in."
Worland blanked Douglas 2-0 on Friday in a state qualifying match to receive a spot on the state bracket.
"Worland has been playing some teams close," LVHS coach Dean Schaff said. "It's scary that we haven't played them, but I think that it's a good draw for us."
LVHS ended the year at 10-3-1. The Tigers fell to Jackson twice and Cody once in the regular season.
"We need to control the pace of the game," Schaff said. "We need to pass. We need to put a lot of pressure on the opposing teams defense and goalkeepers."
The Cody Fillies are the Class 3-A defending champions.
Cody plays at 9 a.m. Thursday vs. Star Valley.
The winner faces the winner of LVHS-Worland at 2 p.m. Friday in the semifinals.
"I think that it's completely wide open because there are four teams that have a chance," Schaff said. "There are two or three teams that are on the outside that have a good chance of upsetting one of those four teams." Buffalo and Torrington tangle with each other at 2 p.m in another opening round match. Jackson and Powell are on the other field.
Jackson, Buffalo, LVHS and Worland enter the state tournament as the top four teams in Class 3-A. Jackson finished the regular season with a perfect 14-0 mark. LVHS ended the year at 10-3-1. Lander ran over Powell 7-0 in the first meeting in Park County.
"Powell is somewhat young," Howlett said. "They have a couple of skilled players. When we played Powell in the first meeting, they had a different goalie in. It appears that we played against a weaker goalie and not their starter. They will be a strong team than what we saw up in Powell."
In a 4 p.m. Thursday match, Jackson plays Cody in the opening round. At the same time on a different field, Buffalo and Torrington square off. The winner of LVHS-Powell plays the winner of Worland and Star Valley at 4 p.m. Friday in one of the semifinals.