Thanks to a 3-1 victory in Friday’s semifinals, the Laramie Lady Plainsmen will play for the 4A State Soccer Championship for the first time in 5 years.

Laramie ousted defending champion Cheyenne East with their fourth victory over the Thunderbirds this season.

Lady Plainsmen head coach Kim Whisenant said they’re elated to finally break-through.

“We’re really excited about getting to the championship and getting monkey off our back. Cheyenne East has beat us the last two years in this same position. We took control midway through the first half and finished it off.”

Laramie got on the board in the 18th minute when Allison McElwee found Sekoya Romero for the first goal. Just five minutes later, in the 23rd, McElwee dished to Lexi Pulley for a goal and 2-0 advantage. That was the score at halftime.

In the 46th minute Romero tallied her second goal off a rebound that followed a shot by Caitlyn Cox.

East scored on a penalty kick in the 64th minute. They had a chance on an earlier PK, but Lady Plainsmen keeper Morgan Bury saved it.

Whisenant was proud of the way her team stuck with their strategy.

“The game for us is won in the midfield. The game plan was to keep it on the ground and play from there. We did that, and it paid off.”

Laramie will face Gillette for the 4A girls’ crown. The Lady Plainsmen are 1-2 against the Camels this year. They won the first meeting 3-1 in Laramie on April 8. Laramie lost at Gillette on April 30, 1-0 and last weekend in the regional final, 2-1.

Whisenant believes her squad will be more confident in this fourth meeting of the season.

“The last time we saw them (Gillette), we didn’t have our keeper (Morgan Bury). This time will be different with how she keeps us organized in the back. Her communication and leadership are key.”

The Lady Plainsmen have won three titles in school history, 2008-2010, and two of those were victories over the Camels. Meanwhile, Gillette has just one. That was in 2011 in a shootout win over LHS, 2-1.

Match time is 2 p.m. at the Big Horn Equestrian Center south of Sheridan.