Soccer teams kick off the spring season

Sandy Wanfalt photo Junior Bill Harber, No. 13, defends Pinedale’s penalty area against Cody on March 17. Also pictured, in back, is goalie and junior Brody Hamby.

CODY – The Pinedale High School Lady Wrangler and Wrangler soccer teams opened the spring 2023 sports season with away games against Cody on Friday, March 17.

Stubborn winter weather made for a difficult first two weeks of practice. The game against Cody was only the third time the Lady Wranglers were able to play soccer outside due to snow and cold temperatures, said head girls’ coach Shanda Jensen.

The games against Powell scheduled for Saturday were postponed to March 30 because of the weather.

The Lady Wranglers put up a fight against Cody, the No. 1 ranked team in the 3A West Conference, though Pinedale ultimately came up short, 13-0.

The Lady Wranglers exhibited tenacity against the Lady Fillies, said Coach Jensen.

“Our team is looking great and in the best shape they have been in at this point in the season since I started coaching,” Jensen added. “Many of the girls put in a ton of work during the off-season and I look forward to the next games.”

The Pinedale Wrangler boys’ soccer team rallied after a tough first half against the Cody Broncs that saw Cody outscore the Wranglers, 9-0. A determined Wrangler defense shut down Cody’s offense in the second half. Cody maintained its first-quarter lead for the win, 9-0.

Head boys’ soccer coach George Vlastos described the Cody match as a “story of two halves.”

“In the first half, Cody used their speed to take advantage of a series of through-balls that resulted in too many quick goals,” Vlastos added. “We were pressing too far up with our back line and paid the price. As we compensated for this, Cody began using the width of the field to set up scoring opportunities from the outside. We made adjustments at halftime, in particular, shifting around some of our players into new positions and Cody did not score in the second half.”

Vlastos commended the team for “lifting one another up” and fighting to the last second.

“The boys deserve praise for their resilience,” he said. “They could have folded in the second half, but instead leaned into one another. We have fine leadership on this team, and the boys truly are invested in one another.”

Both the Lady Wrangler and Wrangler soccer teams travel to Worland for the annual 3A Pinnacle Cup, a bracket-style tournament, on March 24-25.