The Laramie Plainsmen will be vying for their third state championship in the past four years, as they begin play at the 4A State Soccer Tournament in Sheridan.

After winning back-to-back titles in 2013 and 2014, and then missing state a year ago, the Laramie Plainsmen are considered one of the teams to beat this weekend.

Laramie takes on the Kelly Walsh Trojans in their opening round match.

Plainsmen head coach Dan Benford said it may be cliché, but the focus is on their first match.

“We’ve got Kelly Walsh in front of us, and we’ve played them once, and they’re a talented team, so we can’t look past them for any reason. So, we’re going to approach it one game at a time. We’re going to take care of business, hopefully with Kelly Walsh, and we’ll just go from there.”

Laramie defeated the Trojans back on April 25th in Casper by a final of 3-0.

Senior Cameron Campbell likes their first round draw.

“They’re going to be tough. They’re going to come at us hard. I know of one of the kids down there, Robert (George), he’s gunning for us. He knows what’s coming. We’ve just got to be willing to work harder than they are.”

They face off at 4:30 this afternoon on Field 3 at the Big Horn Equestrian Center.

The major end goal would be a state title. There are players on the roster who have been part of one or both of the previous championship teams.

Benford said being a senior-laden team is beneficial going into the state tournament.

“We’ve got some guys that are a little more mature, a little bit older. They understand that these things aren’t easy, and that we’re going to have to really work for this… We’re just going to keep our head on straight and pay attention to the little things we have to do right.”

Senior defender Ryan Petersmann said this is the time we’ve prepared for.

“State is the time to take it seriously, and we need to step that (focus) up.”

The Plainsmen are seeking the sixth crown in school history.

The winner of the Laramie-Kelly Walsh match gets the winner of Sheridan-Natrona County.

The other first round matches at 11:30 a.m. include Green River versus defending champion Cheyenne Central and Gillette taking on Riverton.

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