Three games in three days for Wranglers

Robert Galbreath photo Sophomore Christian Sosa Sanchez, right, drives into Green River territory during the May 5 home game. Sosa Sanchez scored Pinedale’s second goal against Lander on May 4.

PINEDALE – In a test of endurance, the Pinedale High School Wrangler soccer team played three games in the course of 72 hours.

Kicking off the action in Lander on Thursday, May 4, the Wranglers came up short against the Tigers, 6-2.

Undeterred, the Wranglers put up a fight on the home pitch against Green River, the No. 2-ranked team in the 3A West Conference, on Friday, May 5. Green River scored three goals in the first half. An airtight Pinedale defense prevented its opponent from scoring in the second half. Green River ultimately posted the win, 3-0.

On Saturday, May 6, the Wranglers hosted No. 1-ranked Powell. The Panthers netted 3 points in the second half. Refusing to yield, the Wranglers tied Powell, 1-1, in a scrappy second half.


A vicious wind greeted athletes to the field on Thursday.

“This was the windiest game ever – gusts over 50 mpg, sand storms, mayhem,” said Head Coach George Vlastos.

Lander attacked early in the first half with 3 goals.

“To counter, we had (junior) Dustin Larsen mark on their right winger, and he was very much up to the challenge,” said Vlastos. “Larsen took away their high crosses and shut down their passing lanes.”

The Wrangler offense “came alive” in a physical second half, Vlastos continued.

“We maintained our attack for the full 40 minutes, building up from our backline into our midfield as strikers,” Vlastos remarked.

Junior Graham Harber scored a goal for Pinedale off a penalty kick from 25 yards. Sophomore Christian Sosa Sanchez delivered the second goal for the Wranglers, assisted by Harber.

Green River

Both the Wrangler offense and defense gelled against Green River, in what Vlastos called “our most beautiful soccer of the year” against a team that has given up only 5 goals during the season.

“Our defensive form was consistent and our offensive flow showed more patience and creativity,” said Vlastos. “All 11 players were more in sync than any other match this season. There was beauty in teamwork, indeed, considering we had our worst showing of the season the last time we played Green River, losing, 10-0.”

Junior goalie Brody Hamby tallied at least 11 saves against Green River.


The Panthers led the first half, 3-0.

“We made three simple mistakes which turned into three scores for Powell,” said Vlastos. “Otherwise, we were mistake-free and able to frustrate Powell’s usually potent offense. Our center back, (junior) Jayce Ramage, was given the duty of marking Powell’s best scorer and deserves a shoutout for not letting him be a factor in the match.”

The Wrangler offense stepped up the intensity in the second half.

“On the offense end, we kept coming at Powell again and again, keeping most of the possession during the second half – a first for this season. When (sophomore) Edwin Vega was taken down in their box, (sophomore) Laurens Dutzi was able to convert the penalty kick.”

Hamby made 12 saves as goalie.

The Wranglers round out the regular season on Friday and Saturday, May 12-13. Friday features an away game against Lyman with Pinedale hosting Mountain View on Saturday at 1 p.m.