The Laramie Plainsmen took a step toward clinching an automatic bid to the state tournament with a 1-0 victory at Cheyenne Central Wednesday.

Philip Henry scored in the 77th minute off an assist by Anthony Castano for the lone goal in the match.

Laramie head coach Dan Benford gave credit to Central for a strong effort, but liked his team's perseverance.

"Central came out with something to prove. They played a solid defensive game with dangerous counter attacks. We had our chances, but didn't finish as we have been. We stuck to our game and built our game-winner with great passing and the will to win."

Second-ranked Laramie improved to 10-3 on the season. They are 6-2-0-1 in the 4A East Conference. With 19 points in league play, the Plainsmen need a victory over Cheyenne East in their home finale Friday to clinch second place in the 4A East. That would give Laramie an automatic bid to the state tournament in Sheridan in two weeks.

The Plainsmen defeated the Thunderbirds in their first meeting last month, 5-1. Friday's match is at 5 p.m. at the UW North 40 Soccer Field. Laramie's nine seniors will be honored prior to the start.