Today begins the second half of 4A East Conference action for both Laramie High School soccer teams. They will play Sheridan today and Gillette tomorrow.

The parallels for both squads are rather unique. Both are ranked number one in the latest Coach's and Media soccer poll; both are in first place in the 4A East Conference standings; and both have lost two key players apiece due to injury with six games left in the regular season.

The Laramie Lady Plainsmen have lost senior defender Natalie Davis and junior forward Ariel Romero to injury. Davis is out for an unknown amount of time, but there is the possibility she might return late in the season. Romero is out for the season with a knee injury.

Laramie girls head coach Kim Whisenant says, "It's time to step up... Nothing's going to change, as far as the team. They're really confident in themselves, and we have a really good group of older players that are pulling this team together." She also said they're going to change into a different system, which she feels won't be an issue.

The Laramie Plainsmen are down senior forward Blake Wright and senior midfielder and forward Cameron Skinner. There's a chance Wright could return, while Skinner was lost for the season. Skinner was leading class 4A in points this season.

Laramie boys head coach Andy Pannell says, "We're rightly a little concerned. We've kind of changed some things up; moved some players around; brought a couple guys up from the JV team. It's really, I think, sparked a new sense of commitment from the guys who are left on the field." Pannell also added they know it will be harder, and they'll have to pick up their play.

Both teams will play Sheridan today. The Lady Plainsmen are at the fourth-ranked Lady Broncs at 6 p.m. The Plainsmen take on the number five Broncs at 5 p.m. at the UW North 40 soccer field.

Tomorrow will bring the matches against Gillette. The Laramie girls are at the Lady Camels at noon. The Plainsmen have the big #1 vs. #2 showdown against the second-ranked Camels at the UW North 40 soccer field. That match will also start at noon.