Apr 12, 2017 - By Scott Akanewich, Sports EditorCydney Bradley netted a pair of goals in Riverton's home victory against Pinedale.
Cydney Bradley has been a revelation for the Lady Wolverines of Riverton on the pitch to this point in the proceedings of what is quickly becoming a renaissance campaign for girls soccer.
The slick, speedy sophomore was at it again Tuesday afternoon at Wolverine Field, bagging a brace in a 3-0 victory against the visiting Lady Wranglers of Pinedale.
Alongside fellow second-year player Grace Miller, the two underclassmen have formed a formidable partnership atop the attack for the Lady Wolverines, joint leaders on the squad with five goals apiece entering action on Tuesday.
It didn't take very long for Bradley to add to her account against Pinedale, as she took a pass across the face of goal from Elliott Stafford and beat the Wrangler keeper in only the fifth minute for a quick 1-0 advantage for head coach Tanya Santee's side.
If the visitors had any ambitions of a fightback on the day, they were quickly quashed by Riverton shot-stopper Madisyn Pantle, who foiled an attempt on her frame with a save in the 15th minute.
Another attacking player in the stable of young female footballers for Big Red is freshman Alexxis Motisi. She went to work with a header on goal in the 18th minute, which was saved, only for Errolyn Adams to threaten with a chance in the 24th minute, before Bradley followed with another in the 37th.
It seemed only a matter of time before the next breakthrough, and it was Stafford, who had set up Bradley's opener, who went from provider to scorer, with a clinical piece of finishing off a corner kick to make the score 2-0 at the half.
Still, a two-goal lead certainly isn't insurmountable, but after Bradley slotted home her second of the match in the 45th minute on a shot which eluded the Pinedale keeper, there was no way back for the visitors.
The Lady Wolverines continued to attack with reckless abandon, thirsty to pad their advantage. Miller, who put on a masterful performance despite being held off the scoresheet, produced a pair of chances in the 50th and 68th minutes, both of which were dealt with by the Pinedale keeper.
However, when the referee's whistle blew after 80 minutes, it was the home squad celebrating its third win of the season and second in as many games, topping the win total for all of last season only nine games in this year.
According to Santee, victory was especially sweet, as the Wranglers are a conference opponent.
"It's a huge win for us," said Santee. "We played some really tough teams out of the gate in Star Valley and Laramie, the defending Class 4-A state champions."
For the RHS boss, there's nothing magical about the synergy up front between Bradley and Miller, just the residue of hard work on the training ground.
"They're putting in the effort," said Santee. "But, a lot of it is chemistry."
As for their success against the Wranglers, it was all down to formulating a successful blueprint and being able to stick with it, imposing their will on the opposition, she said.
"We definitely had a game plan of what we were trying to do," said Santee. "Our speed of play prevented them from outrunning our defense. It's certainly nice when you can implement a plan and execute it."
Stafford's strike was her first of the season, adding her name to an already potent arsenal of offensive options, not the lease of which is Bradley, who now had seven goals on the season and has definitely taken her game up a notch, said Santee.
"Cydney works hard and we've worked with her on refining her shooting with a purpose, as opposed to simply getting the ball on goal," she added. "She's certainly had plenty of opportunities."
Santee remains cautiously optimistic regarding the future fortunes of her club, she said.
"We'll probably still have more ups and downs," said Santee. "But, it's certainly good to get our first conference win."
Riverton (3-6, 1-1 Class 3-A Southwest) moved even with Pinedale in the standings with the victory and hosts Worland at 3 p.m. Thursday.
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