Lady Wranglers find footing at invite

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GREEN RIVER – It was a strong showing for the Pinedale High School varsity girls soccer team over the weekend, as it dropped one loss and earned three wins while competing at the Southwest Invitational in Green River. The team hit the turf again on Tuesday in an away match against Rawlins.

The team began the tournament by matching up with host school Green River last Friday. Despite getting some attacks going, head coach Jennifer Adam said the game was pretty rough for the Lady Wranglers.

“Green River was ready to play and we just were not awake yet,” Adam said.

The Lady Wolves restricted Pinedale’s offense from getting shots on the goal to eventually win 4-0 over the Lady Wranglers.

“We were able to get some attacks going but none ended on a shot on goal,” Adam said. “They got four goals and we could not retaliate.”

Senior Isie McLoughlin was named player of the game following a solid effort and by remaining consistent out on the field, the head coach noted.

Later that day, the Lady Wranglers headed back out on the field to take on the Rawlins Lady Outlaws. This time around, Pinedale was able to pull out of their slump.

“We started flat again, but then began to play,” Adam said.

The game suddenly became a tight match with both teams getting a good amount of shots on the goal. Things started to favor Pinedale after senior McKenna Legerski began creating additional scoring opportunities for the team.

“McKenna, our player of the game, stepped up and turned the tide,” Adam said. “Her play forced many opportunities to score.”

Pinedale’s only goal in regulation soon followed when sophomore Darbie Paulson took a shot at the goal but missed. Junior Bailey Schupp cleaned up the rebound and put the ball in the net to give the Lady Wranglers a 1-0 advantage in the opening half. Rawlins put up a goal in the second half, tying the contest at 1-1 at the end of regulation.

The game moved into a shootout, with senior Lynora Anderson and Legerski sinking shots on the goal. Senior River Dauwen and sophomore Kylee Kranendonk then missed a pair of shots, giving Rawlins a chance to pull away with the victory. Through Dauwen’s effort as keeper at the net, Rawlins only picked up one goal in the shootout, giving Pinedale the 2-1 victory and preventing Pinedale’s fifth shooter, Schupp, from having to shoot.

“River played so well in the net that the other team choked and only made one and we got our first win,” Adam said.

Pinedale finished the close match with 11 total shots on the goal, six of which came from both Anderson and Legerski, shooting three shots each. Dauwen had a big game at the net as keeper, earning 15 saves for a save percentage of .882.

Pinedale took the momentum from its first win of the season into Saturday, where the team first took on the Evanston Lady Red Devils.

It was another intense matchup as the majority of the game took place in the middle of the field with very few scoring opportunities occurring for either team throughout regulation.

Legerski was able to sneak a goal in following a long shot that skipped off the wet turf and slipped past the Rawlins goalkeeper, giving the Lady Wranglers a 1-0 lead.

“We continued to battle both ways for the remainder of the game,” Adam said. “We had a scare at the end of the game as Rawlins scored right after time expired.”

Luckily, the late shot was mere moments after the end of regulation, giving Pinedale their second win of the season and second consecutive win at the tournament.

Legerski led the way with two of the team’s shots on goal, while Dauwen was able to pick up seven saves as keeper. Freshman Nora Legerski was named player of the game.

The busy weekend wrapped up with a final matchup against Douglas later that afternoon. By this time, Pinedale was ready for anything after battling through a gauntlet of difficult opponents. The game was another tight battle throughout regulation.

“We were neck-and-neck all game, and both teams were held scoreless,” Adam said.

The teams were all tied up at 0-0 at the end of the second half, moving the game into a shootout.

Legerski, Anderson and senior Heidi Nutt hit their shots on the goal and Dauwen made two nice saves to give Pinedale a 1-0 victory. Dauwen’s defensive effort to secure the victory earned her player of the game.

The win gave the Lady Wranglers a fifth-place finish out of 16 teams at the tournament. The head coach was pleased with how her team battled throughout a series of tough games to come out victorious in three of the four matches. As a team, she says they left the tournament a lot stronger than when they arrived.

The team hit the road again on Tuesday of this week to take on the Riverton Lady Wolverines. Pinedale opened up the game on a positive note, as they were able dominate possession of the ball and had more shots on the goal than Riverton. Despite the strong effort, the team struggled to find the net.

“It was a very frustrating game,” Adam said.

The tough matchup handed the Lady Wranglers a 4-0 loss to the Lady Wolverines.

The coach noted Paulson’s effort out on the field, stating she was able to get multiple breakaways, but was unable to finish with a goal despite her efforts. Because of this, the sophomore was named player of the game.

The Lady Wranglers continue their season this evening with a road game in Rawlins at 3 p.m., followed by another road matchup with Star Valley on Tuesday, April 18 at 3 p.m.

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