Soccer: Girls take state, boys suffer first loss

By on May 18, 2013

JACKSON HOLE, WYO – The Jackson Hole High School Lady Broncs are state champs. The girls soccer team cruised to the state title 3A soccer title, defending their own turf and never

Lady Broncs take State (Catherine Harward)

Lady Broncs take State (Catherine Harward)

surrendering a goal in any of the three games they played Thursday, Friday, or Saturday in Jackson.

The Lady Broncs struggled with opening round opponent Powell, eventually beating the Panthers 1-0. The Lady Broncs beat Powell twice during the regular season as well. The Buffalo Lady Bisons destroyed Torrington 3-0 in their opener, setting up a second round showdown with Jackson. The Lady Broncs beat Buffalo 2-0 [highlights] in a hard-fought game during a tournament in Casper way back on March 16. The rematch went the same way with a 2-0 victory for Jackson.

On Saturday, the Lady Broncs squared off against a surprise Star Valley squad. The Lady Braves came on strong by the end of the season and played the role of underdog during the State Championships. Star Valley upset two number one seeds – beating Cody 3-2 and coming from behind a 2-0 deficit at halftime to clip Lander Valley 3-2 – to earn a shot at the title against their arch-rivals, the Lady Broncs.

Jackson handled Star Valley easily back in April, posting a 3-0 win on the 19th. A much-improved Lady Braves team took Jackson to overtime on May 7. The Lady Broncs won that one 3-2.

Saturday’s championship game took place in a steady drizzle with the Lady Broncs making sure the Lady Braves staged no more last-second comebacks. The final was 2-0.  The Lady Broncs finished the season with a record of 14-3. They gave up just 16 goals against all year.

Coach Tom Ralston said he was proud of the team and pointed to team cohesion as a reason for the Lady Broncs’ success this season. “There is no one single player or two that is a standout that opponents might mark,” he said. “We aren’t comprised of a bunch of superstars. No one is going all-state from our team this year. We just played a sound game with great team effort.”

Ralston also made sure his girls were ready for a red hot Star Valley team on Saturday. “[Star Valley is] is a very competitive team and they have great athletes over there,” he said. “They are faster than us, so we didn’t want to get into a ‘speed’ game with them. We made sure we didn’t do things like pass the ball into open space or it would invite them to go get it with their speed and turn into a track meet. We took care of the ball and played a solid ball possession game.”

Boys soccer

The Jackson Hole Broncs boys soccer team soared into the hometown state tourney with high hopes and an unblemished record.

The Broncs whitewashed their first round opponents, Cody, on Thursday. The final was 4-0. The Broncs were beaten for the first time this season by Buffalo on Friday, however. The 2-1 final was a reversal of the teams’ meeting on March 16 [highlights] when the Broncs beat the Bisons. Jackson had to fight their way through the consolation bracket. The Broncs beat Lander Valley 3-0 on Saturday morning to take third place at this year’s state championship.

The Broncs finished the 2013 soccer season 16-1.

About Jake Nichols

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