May 31, 2013 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports EditorRiverton Rampage soccer players finished a highly successful youth career with a runner-up finish Monday in the Under-14 gold division at the Wyoming Cup in Casper.
After going 3-1 in pool play matches, the Rampage lost 3-1 to the Casper Blades in the title match.
The Riverton players have been to the state championship game four out of the last five seasons.
Riverton won titles in the U10 and U12 division.
The Riverton team at the state cup was made up of Kevin Schmidt, Jason Thoren, Skyler Heibert, Keegan Rosas, Evan White, Braden Djezvian, Reed Axthelm, Matthew Reinig, Cody Chancellor, Alex Fabricus, Steven Jones, Nate Young, Trenton Landis and Casey Chancellor.
"Most of them will be moving on to high school next year," Riverton U14 coach Mike Axthelm said. "It will be exciting to watch. There is a large group that is moving up that has some great talent. We had some kids progress throughout the year."
In pool play during the Wyoming Cup this year, Riverton beat Sheridan 2-1 and the Lander Strikers 2-1.The Rampage then blanked Rock Springs 3-0.
"We played solid each and every game," Axthelm said. "i was really proud of the kids for the finish."
"The competition was extremely good in our pool play," Axthelm said.
Casper 3, Riverton 1
"We played fantastic soccer in the championship game," Axthelm said. "We came out in a really strong defensive formation. Our defense held up great."
Casper was up 1-0 at the halftime break.
"In the second half, we made some adjustments to move some guys forward to get the attack going," Axthelm said.
Midway through the first half, Casper scored its second goal.
Riverton quickly answered with a goal from Djezvian.
"We really had the momentum," Axthelm said. "The attack at the start of the second half put the pressure on Casper."
The Blades were awarded a penalty kick and scored for the two-goal margin.
Pool play matches
In the victory over Sheridan, Rosas had the first goal for the Rampage. Jones had the assist on a goalie punt.
The second goal came from Djezvian. Reed Axthelm had the assist.
Against the Strikers, Reed Axthelm opened up the scoring on a 24-yard free kick.
He scored the second goal on a penalty kick.
"Lander was really good," Coach Axthelm said. "Their defense really stepped it up."
Djezvian put in the first goal for the Rampage. Reed Axthelm scored another goal for a 2-0 lead.
The final goal came from Schmidt after a rebound from the Rock Springs goalie.
"We had some obstacles to overcome in pool play," Axthelm said. "We were short one of our center backs."
Thoren, Heibert and Reinig anchored Riverton's defense.
"We put Casey Chancellor on defense, and he did a great job back there," Axthelm said.
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