Wrangler soccer triumphs against Lyman

Robert Galbreath photo Junior Fisher Vance catches air during the April 14 varsity game against Lyman.

PINEDALE – A gutsy first-half offense by the Pinedale High School Wrangler boys’ soccer team led to four goals and resulted in a 4-3 victory against the Lyman Eagles at the Wranglers’ first home game on Friday, April 14.

A tenacious Pinedale defense shut down Lyman’s efforts to close the deficit in the second half.

Head Coach George Vlastos praised the team for playing “at a high level” throughout the entire 80-minute battle against the Eagles.

“This match came down to heart,” Vlastos added. “The boys were playing a man down for three-quarters of the game and our bench wasn’t deep due to injuries, but Pinedale refused to concede. It was also the most physical game we’ve played this year, but the boys never backed off. The team is starting to come together in terms of form and trusting one another, and they are doing much better spreading the field laterally. Coach Stephenson and I usually call out a player of the match, but every one of the boys deserved that recognition.”

Sophomore Laurens Dutzi maneuvered the ball into Eagle territory early in the first half. Dutzi positioned himself to deliver a powerful kick into the net and post Pinedale’s first goal.

Lyman responded with a goal to tie the game, 1-1.

Sophomore Christian Sosa Sanchez took control of the ball, dribbled it up the right side of the field and scored the Wranglers’ second goal, pulling Pinedale ahead, 2-1.

The Wranglers widened their lead midway into the first half. Junior Jayce Ramage attacked Lyman with a shot on goal. Lyman’s goalie dropped the ball and junior Dylan Call swept in to score for Pinedale.

Lyman followed up with a goal, reducing Pinedale’s lead to a single point, 3-2.

Snagging the ball, the Wrangler offense drove deep into Eagle territory. Junior Dustin Larsen deftly moved the ball down the field. Noting an opening, Larsen passed the ball to junior Graham Harber.

Harber lined up and launched a perfect kick into the net.

Pinedale dominated the scoreboard, 4-2, at halftime.

The Eagles briefly rallied and scored their third goal in the second half. Undaunted, the Pinedale defense closed ranks and shut down the Lyman offense to maintain the win, 4-3. Junior goalie Brody Hamby tallied five saves in the second half.

The Wranglers traveled to Green River to play conference opponent Mountain View on Saturday, April 15. Following a tight first half, Mountain View pulled ahead to win, 4-0.

“It’s always tough to play back-to-back matches, especially after such an exhausting match like the win against Lyman,” said Coach Vlastos. “At halftime, we were down, 1-0, but our form was good and we had opportunities to score. In the second half, our resilience remained intact, but our execution frayed toward the end with Mountain View scoring three goals in the last 25 minutes.”

Pinedale hosts Cody at 5 p.m. on Friday, April 21. The team travels to play Powell on Saturday.