May 20, 2013 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports EditorJackson beat Star Valley 2-0 in the title match. It was the first state soccer title appearance for Star Valley in school history.
JACKSON -- A 1-0 victory over Worland High School on Thursday morning in shootout kicks turned out to be the high point for the Lander Valley High School Lady Tigers during the Class 3-A state girls soccer tournament in Jackson.
The Tiger girls fell to the Star Valley Lady Braves 3-2 Friday afternoon in the semifinals. Star Valley scored in the final minute of regulation play.
Buffalo blanked LVHS 2-0 Saturday morning to win the trophy for third.
"The girls stepped up and played really aggressive scorer this weekend," LVHS coach Dean Schaff said. "They played the style of soccer that I asked them to play. We just fell short."
Buffalo scored on a direct kick early in Saturday's match for the 1-0 lead. The Bison scored their second goal on a penalty kick within a minute of the first goal for the advantage they never gave up.
"The conditions were a little slick, so the girls were having a little trouble with the footing," Schaff said.
Jackson beat Star Valley 2-0 in the title match. It was the first state soccer title appearance for Star Valley in school history.
Star Valley 3, Lander 2
With a state tournament championship match on the line, the Tigers took a 2-0 lead into the break.
"I think that we controlled the game for most of the game," Schaff said. "Star Valley had two corners that went in and an indirect kick that went in. If we would have limited those couple of mistakes, then we would have had them."
LVHS freshman Rachael Troxel had both of the goals.
The first goal came at the 17th minute as Troxel headed a corner kick from teammate Ella Welsh into the net.
Her second goal came on a direct kick from 35 yards to keep the momentum going into the second half.
The momentum changed in the second half for Star Valley.
After an early goal in the second half, the Lady Braves knotted it up at 2-2 with four minutes left in regulation.
The game-winner came on a corner kick in the final minute of play.
"My girls were upset, but at the same time they are a pretty tough group," Schaff said.
"They were able to bounce back. I thought that we were in good spirits for most of Friday night."
Lander 1, Worland 0
Goalkeeper Ashlynn Schamber saved three shootout kicks Thursday for LVHS and her teammates blasted three kicks into the Worland net for the official 1-0 win.
The teams were scoreless after 80 minutes of regulation play. Worland and LVHS then went scoreless for two 10-minute overtime periods.
"Going into the shootouts is like a worst nightmare if you are the goalie," Schamber said. "When I get in there I just have to step it up and play for my team because they play for me every day."
Schamber stopped two balls that came right at her. One of the Worland kicks missed the net.
"I usually do well in the corners during the match," Schamber said.
"I just watched the ball and hope that I'm right. My nerves were part of it. I just dove for the ball. I was very excited after the game. I had tears in my eyes. I was so happy. For my first state tournament, I never expected to be in a shootout."
LVHS players Aspen Hemingway, Alicia Espinosa and Troxel all came through in the clutch on the shootout kicks. Espinosa and Hemingway are seniors.
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