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Tiger girls take down defending state champs
Lander Valley High School senior Annikki Peterson scored for the Tigers in their 2-1 win over Jackson. Photo by Bruce Tippets

Tiger girls take down defending girls state 3-A soccer champ

Mar 25, 2012 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports Editor

Two second-half goals lifted Lander Valley High School past Jackson 2-1 on Friday in a rematch of the 2011 Class 3-A girls state championship game.

Jackson has won the last four Class 3-A state titles. The match was the home opener for the Tigers.

"It's exciting for the girls," LVHS coach Dean Schaff said.

"It's a good win early in the season against a quality 3-A school."

The Tigers completed the home weekend on Saturday afternoon beating Torrington 3-1.

"We have a lot of young kids this year," Schaff said. "We had three starters in the second half with Jackson that were freshmen. We have a little more speed this year. We are playing pretty good."

The match on Saturday was the Class 3-A Southeast conference opener.

"I think that mentally they responded very well," said Schaff on how his team played Saturday. "Physically, they looked a little tired. Our conditioning wasn't there against Torrington. We just didn't have the wheels in the second half."

Lander 2, Jackson 1

(Friday)

"We didn't really control the ball as much as I would have liked in the first half," Schaff said. "Jackson controlled the ball a little more than us."

The first goal of the match came with 10 minutes left on the clock, as Jackson's Morgan Shippey drilled one past LVHS goalkeeper Ashley Von Rein.

"We probably should have cleared the first goal," Schaff said.

The Tigers didn't have any great scoring opportunities in the first 40 minutes of action. That changed in the second half.

"In the second half, we came out with a little more pressure," Schaff said.

"We were able to find some holes in Jackson's defense. We looked for the corners more, and that helped us."

Lander's Annikki Peterson knotted the score up at 1-1 15 minutes into the second half.

"She got a good ball from the outside," Schaff said. "She got a good look that she was able to drive it in."

The home squad broke the scoreless tie with 15 minutes left in regulation when Mak Meeks hit a free kick right at the Jackson goalkeeper.

The ball bounced around, and Emily Schimelpfenig put it in for the game-winner.

"Emily just happened to be at the right place at the right time," Schaff said.

Schaff made a major change in the second half, putting Von Rein on the sidelines and moving freshman Mickell Fowles into the net.

"We are trying to get some more experienced with some kids," Schaff said. "We have four goalkeepers right now. We are trying to see who can do it."

Fowles responded to Schaff's decision by collecting a number saves in her varsity debut in goal.

"She made some good saves," said Schaff about his freshman.

"She has to be a little more secure with the ball. We have to continue to work on that."

Lander 3, Torrington 1

(Saturday)

The start was critical in the conference match for the Tigers. Taylor Meeks broke the scoreless tie four minutes into the match.

Nateal Hemingway scored to put LVHS up 2-0 three minutes after the first goal.

"It would have been nice to have a few more goals in the first half," Schaff said.

"They were playing solid enough that I wasn't concerned about it. We had plenty of chances on them. We kept the pressure on them all day."

Peterson scored at the 44-minute mark to put the match away.

Torrington avoided the shutout with a goal in the final minute of the game.

Von Rein started in goalie and played the first 40 minutes.

Kristi Ragan saw time in the second half in goal. Ragan was out for track for two weeks and decided to play soccer last week for the first time in her high school career.

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