Apr 23, 2017 - By Scott Akanewich, Sports EditorRiverton's girls played hard on a stormy day against visiting Star Valley.
On a blustery, chilly spring afternoon when players donned bobble caps and long underwear to battle the elements, the Lady Wolverines dropped a 3-0 decision to visiting Star Valley on Friday.
Early on, the visitors tested the Riverton defense with marauding runs down the right flank, but failed to penetrate a resolute back four, with goalkeeper Madisyn Pantle making a save in the eighth minute, before another in the 18th.
However, in the 28th minute, after having bossed possession for long stretches in the Riverton defensive third, it was Star Valley's Maylee Thompson who broke through with a hard shot which Pantle got a piece of, but spilled over the line for a 1-0 Lady Braves advantage.
The visitors added to their account with another strike off the boot of a Braves player from the top of the box which eluded Pantle, as the ball sailed over the backpedaling keeper's head and under the crossbar in the 28th minute.
Finally, in the 68th minute, Thompson netted again, giving her five goals against the Lady Wolverines this season, following up a hat trick in the Braves' 7-0 season-opening defeat of Riverton on May 23.
Cydney Bradley had a few breakaway chances after through balls found their way past the Star Valley back line, but the visitors were able to keep the clean sheet, as Riverton's chances at goal were few and far between.
It was simply another low in what has been a roller-coaster ride for head coach Tanya Santee's club, coming off the high of a dramatic 1-0 overtime road win against Pinedale only 24 hours earlier.
"We're really young and we're definitely going through growing pains," said Santee. "Even though we have players with a lot of soccer experience, they're relatively new to the high-school level."
As for how the day's events on the field unfolded, it was a matter of her side allowing the opposition too freedom on the ball, said Santee.
"We gave them too much space to play in," she said. "They were strong and physical and really good at winning balls in the air."
Riverton (4-9, 2-2 Class 3-A Southwest) will travel to Powell and Cody next Friday and Saturday before wrapping up the regular season at home against Lander on May 9.
Santee definitely has some things in mind for the training ground leading up to the final games of the season, she said.
"We have to buckle down and play solid defense," said Santee. "Also, we need to work on our transition from defense to attack, improve our shooting and get more bodies on the ball."
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