PINEDALE – Pinedale girls’ and boys’ varsity soccer entered the second week of competition pitted against non-conference rival Evanston on Friday, April 2.
The 4A powerhouse Red Devils proved a formidable opponent, launching a powerful offensive that kept the Wranglers and Lady Wranglers fighting to defend their territory.
Evanston defeated both Pinedale squads, 5-0.
Pinedale managed to keep possession of the ball for over an hour while Evanston ran the ball for 22 minutes. The Red Devils made use of their limited time with the ball on offense and hit back at the Lady Wranglers with quick, precise attacks.
Despite the loss, head coach Shanda Jensen was pleased with the fight the team put up against a difficult opponent.
“The girls played well and improved from the previous game against Mountain View,” she said. “We are still learning to anticipate the play and learning to move the ball, but have improved so much already on these skills this season.”
The Lady Wranglers made 10 shots during the game. Junior Olivia Edwards led with three shots. Senior Reese Noble, senior Rita Mata, junior Emmaline Vrska and senior Alaine Liserio each made one shot.
Pinedale offense came close to scoring with seven shots on goal. Edwards played two shots on goal, with Mata, Vrska and Liserio each adding one to the statistic book.
On defense, senior Preslie Mecham served as goalie for most of the match – junior Cora Murphy subbed briefly to cover an injury. Mecham caught a total of eight saves.
Evanston set the offensive momentum early and held the ball in Wrangler territory for most of the match. Wrangler defense found its footing and put up a steadier resistance to Evanston’s repeated attacks as the game progressed. Freshman Brody Hamby played goalie and caught 15 saves during the match.
“It was a tough game on Friday,” said head coach J.D. Dudrey. “Every one of the kids worked extremely hard, though, and the best thing we saw was that not a single one gave up even when the game was out of hand.”
The Wrangler coaching staff shuffled several players in defense and midfield.
“A few of the kids that really stood out on Friday were (juniors) Gaige Zook and Jimmy Winkelkotter,” said Dudrey. “Both of them played a new position at one point in the game. Jimmy got moved back to defense and did a great job. Gaige moved from outside midfield to a center midfielder and looked great there.”
The Wranglers and Lady Wranglers host 3A team Cody on Friday, April 9. The girls play at 3 p.m., followed by boys at 5 p.m. Saturday, April 10, features a second home match against 3A rival Powell. Game times are 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.