RAWLINS – The Torrington High School boys’ soccer team locked up the top seed for the Class 3A State Soccer Championships this weekend in Cheyenne with a 4-2 victory over the Rawlins Outlaws.
Torrington junior Deagan Keith got the Blazers on the scoreboard early.
“He scored the first one within the first 10 minutes and literally, maybe five minutes or so after that, he scored another one,” THS coach Gabe Bartlett said.
Late in the first half, Ty Prall added a third goal to make it 3-0 at the break.
In the second half, Rawlins battled back, scoring two goals to make it a 3-2 game.
“Then in typical Torrington fashion, we let them get back in it in the second half,” Bartlett said. “We were rolling right along and then let off the gas a little bit.”
But late in the match, Chase Miller connected on a penalty kick to lock up the win.
Over the weekend, Douglas lost to Riverton, allowing Torrington to earn sole possession of first place in the 3A East Conference standings, which allowed them to lock up the top seed for the state tournament.
“We were excited about that. We needed to go win the game and let the chips fall where they may,” Bartlett said. “We’ve been talking with the boys about handling what we can handle.”
They did just that on Friday.
“They played very well, and we got out of there with a win,” Bartlett said. “It was a good weekend.”
Torrington will face the No. 4 seed from the West in the Cody Broncs in the opening round of the tournament.
“We’ve watched a little film on them,” Bartlett said. “They play the single striker high and will try to go over the top. The kid looks fast, and we’ll have to be ready for that.”
Torrington is no stranger to playing against that style of offense.
“In our conference, we see that almost every weekend, where people just kick it over the top of us and try to beat us that way,” Bartlett said. “We should be ready for that.”
On the defensive side of the field, he’s not 100% sure what they will see out of Cody, but Bartlett does have a good idea of what they might see.
“What we are running into is people are getting a lot of people back and stacking the box against us. I wouldn’t be surprised, since they run a single striker, if they have nine guys back playing defense against us,” he said. “We’ll have to be ready and mindful of that. We’ll need to hold our shape and spacing.”
Kickoff is scheduled for 4 p.m. at the North Cheyenne Community Park.
“They are a skilled bunch of boys,” Bartlett said. “They’ve been great all year, and we’ll see how far we can go with this.”