RIVERTON – This past weekend the Riverton High School (RHS) soccer teams hosted both teams from Casper, as Natrona County came to Wolverine Stadium on Friday and Kelly Walsh came to compete RHS on Saturday. 

The first set of matches saw the Lady Wolverines score first, going up 1-0 on Natrona County with just over 10 minutes gone in the first half, but the Fillies would not go down easily. They would tie the game up at 1-1 with just under four minutes to go and bring the Lady Wolverines’ momentum to a halt. 

After the halftime was over the Lady Wolverines played defense well until 15 minutes in when the ball got behind the defensive line and the score popped up on the undefeated Riverton team 2-1. The game remained in Natrona County’s favor until the final stretch, when senior Olivia Bradley tied it up at 2-2 with under nine minutes to go. 

Cilia Mejorado raced down the sideline after the ball with a Natrona defender Friday in Riverton (p/c Carl Cote)

Then, almost immediately, Sealey Morton was able to put the Lady Wolverines up with five minutes to go in the game. But, sadly, they could not hold that lead for even one minute as a long 40-yard goal went in as Riverton’s Ayana Mejorado came too far out of the goal box and got caught with her head turned. 

The game would end with that score, even after an overtime period, marking the first time all season long that the Lady Wolverines did not end the day with a victory. 

Sealey Morton was greeted by her teammates after scoring the game tying goal late in the second half against Natrona County (p/c Carl Cote)

Riverton’s boys had the job of avenging their loss to Natrona County next, looking to get offense going without their star player Sean Carruth, who exited the previous game with a lower-leg injury that kept him out of both games this past weekend. 

Defense, as always, was the name of the game for the Wolverines as Ruger Stowell and Brady Howard continued to keep the Broncs from moving too far into the attacking third. But, when they needed it most, the Wolverines got some offense going with a 20-yard goal by Jackson Larsen that was tipped into the goal off the Broncs’ goalkeeper’s hand. 

After Larsen’s goal with under nine minutes to go in the first half they found another score thanks to a play by Hunter Saltsgaver that looked dead to rights multiple times. Saltsgaver was able to make it through two or three Broncs and find a short goal to go up 2-0 before halftime. 

That 2-0 score would hold for the entire game, especially after the cloud coverage brought cold, windy weather for the second half. 

According to WyoToday’s broadcaster Kevin Shields it was “the best game they’ve played all season long” and it came without their leading scorer in Carruth, something that was shocking to many fans who have watched them all season. 

Freshman Clay Sheets controlled the ball against Kelly Walsh Saturday in Riverton (p/c Carl Cote)

Saturday’s games had much different outcomes as the girls weren’t able to get anything going on offense, something that has not happened for the Lady Wolverines at all during the 2023 season. Kelly Walsh was able to hold the Lady Wolverines to just one shot on goal all day by clogging passing lanes and shooting lanes for the entirety of the 80-minute game. 

With under 20 minutes to go in the game the first, and only, goal of the match came thanks to Kelly Walsh finding a simple way to get past the RHS defense. That score of 1-0 would hold and put a number in the Lady Wolverines’ loss column for the first time this season, capping their weekend against Casper at 0-1-1. 

Brady Howard put his head to the ball Saturday in the Riverton backfield (p/c Carl Cote)

The boys had a much different game with a similar outcome. They lost to Kelly Walsh earlier this year due to the offense of Riverton not working toward goals but rather toward getting past the midfield, something that they improved upon on Saturday but not enough to get any goals in the first half. 

At that halftime the RHS boys were down 2-0 to the Trojans, forcing them into a fevered mindset that made them a little ancy on their heels. The Trojans added one more goal in the second half and kept that 3-0 lead all throughout the final minutes, sweeping the Wolverines in their two-game regular-season series. 

After the weekend the Wolverines improved their record to 3-5-3 while the girls fell to 9-1-1. Up next, both teams travel to Rock Springs on Thursday before their second annual Pink Night on Friday, April 28, against Evanston. 

If you can’t make it to the Pink Night celebration on Friday you can always donate by calling 307-851-7490.

By: Shawn O’Brate