The Laramie Lady Plainsmen took the first step in defense of their state soccer title with a 4-1 victory over Rock Springs Thursday.

Laramie head coach Kim Whisenant was happy with their performance.

“I thought we did a really good job playing as a team, and keeping the ball on the ground, and keeping a lot of the possession. Kind of how it’s been going for us, we had a lot of opportunities at goal that we couldn’t find the back of the net in the first half. Just kind of regrouped and kept on it, and finally a couple fell in the second half.”

After a scoreless first half, Laramie finally broke through on a penalty kick goal by senior Paige Trent in the 64th minute. The Lady Plainsmen then busted the match wide open with three goals in a five minute span. Junior Lexi Pulley tallied in the 73rd minute followed by fellow junior Courtney Hamilton in the 75th minute. Senior Allison McElwee capped the LHS spree when she found the back on the net in the 77th minute.

Whisenant said of the flurry, “I told the kids once you get one hopefully we can get a couple more because we’ll have the momentum, and sure enough, that’s how it happened.”

Rock Springs’ only goal came in the 79th minute, when Alyssa Bedard tallied.

Laramie will face Cheyenne East in the semifinals Friday. It will be the fourth meeting between the two teams this season. Laramie is 1-2 in the previous three with the Lady Plainsmen dropping the last two.

Whisenant said they’ll be prepared.

“We have our full strength with our squad, and we’re ready for it.”

The biggest key Whisenant feels will be winning balls in the air.

“If we can control the game there and get it on the ground, then we can be successful.”

Match time is at 2:30 p.m. from the Big Horn Equestrian Center.

Laramie Plainsmen Fall Short

The dream of a repeat ended Thursday for the Laramie Plainsmen. They lost their first round state tournament match to Green River 2-0.

The Wolves scored in the 24th minute when Eliel Ibarca tallied for a 1-0 lead. It stayed that score until Christian Alatorre iced it with a goal in the final minute.

Plainsmen head coach Dan Benford admitted his squad didn’t play well in the first half.

“We just came out flat. We spent the first half of the game not running the game-plan that we had set up at practice this week. I’m not really sure what that was about. I think we just got ourselves really nervous and were unable to just kind of play free, the way that we like to play.”

Benford said credit to Green River because they did what we expected.

“I think in one case, maybe they knew a little bit more about us than we expected them to know about us.”

Laramie falls into the consolation bracket. They face a loser out match against Rock Springs.

Benford feels they’ll be able to bounce back because of their character.

“This is a group of guys that don’t like to lose games. We don’t do it very often, and it is frustrating, and it is a little bit disappointing, and I know our senior class is feeling that, but I also know they want to go out on a high note.”

The Plainsmen and Tigers will meet for the first time this season. The match will begin at 11:30 a.m. Friday.

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