#Snapshots: Extra time needed to decide Fremont County Cup bragging rights
The Lander girls soccer squad drew 0 – 0 in regulation time with Riverton’s Lady Wolverines Tuesday night. The match was evenly played, with an edge going to the Wolverine attack that applied more pressure during the match. However, a stout Lander defense anchored by Goal Keeper Abby Hamilton proved difficult to beat. They protected a clean sheet shutout on the night. In the first 10 minute half of overtime the Lady Tigers were able to net 2 goals to claim the victory and the Fremont Cup on Riverton’s home field.
The first of the goals came 4 minutes into overtime off the quick and opportunistic foot of Ine Berthinussen during a goal-mouth scramble. Followed 5 minutes later when Zoe Peterson lined up her strong left foot for a corner kick. Peterson’s kick sailed high with a strong amount of in-swinging bend to score an “olympic” goal directly from the corner. It’s a rare sight in soccer that sealed the Lander victory. “I’m so proud of their defensive organization, possession in the midfield, and all-around energetic and cohesive performance,” shared first year girls coach Gabe Joyes. “Credit to Riverton for being difficult to break down, but we looked comfortable and dangerous the whole game so I was confident we would get the result in the end.”
After the girls overtime match the boys squads took the field at close to 8:00 pm. This was Riverton’s Senior Day and the final regular season match for both teams. Ranked as the two highest seeds for the 3A State Tournament next week, the teams had met one previous time this season. Lander claimed that match 1 – 0. The brackets for the State Tournament are set, and while this match wouldn’t affect those seedings, the match was a contentious cross-county rivalry that was not taken lightly by either side. The game was marked by physical play with 5 yellow card cautions distributed by the Center Official for aggressive behavior.
The first half ended 0 – 0 as both teams conservatively advanced to test each other’s keepers on only a handful of attacks. Early in the second, Jed Welsh and Daniel Lobera combined down the left flank to penetrate the Riverton defense, with Lobera slotting a low shot by the Riverton net minder. Despite the score Coach Aziz Waheed’s Riverton squad never let up. 15 minutes later Riverton forward Dayne Bradley connected from inside the penalty area off of a Dawson Lane assist to even the score at 1’s. Overtime failed to see anyone grab the victory with a goal. While this was a regular season match that will officially be scored a tie in the books, the teams agreed to settle the Fremont Cup with a “shots-from-the-mark” shootout, similar to how it would be settled in the State Tournament. Lander boys converted on all 5 shots, and Riverton netted on their first four. On Riverton’s final shot, a rebound off the bottom of the crossbar denying the goal was the only difference to separate these two squads on this late night. Lander took the unofficial win and retained the Cup. It was 10:45 pm. Players, fans and coaches knew that they’d witnessed one of the historically classic Riverton/Lander soccer matchups.