Blazers split with Bearcats, Dogies; THS hosts defending state champs on Sat.

TORRINGTON – The Torrington High School boys’ soccer team split its two matches last week.

On Tuesday, the Blazers grabbed an early 1-0 lead on Scottsbluff but came up short in the end 3-2.

“It was typical game with Scottsbluff,” THS coach Gabe Bartlett said. “They played very physical.”

Torrington struck first, taking a 1-0 lead from a goal courtesy of Anthony Arnusch. Not long after the goal, a lightning delay put a brief halt to the game.

“They came out much more prepared than us,” Bartlett said. “We didn’t match them.”

Scottsbluff scored three straight goals before Torrington got one back late in the game thanks to Ned Nelson.

“After the third goal, we settled down and got back into it,” Bartlett said. “We just ran out of time. It’s a game we should have won, but the lightning delay stalled the momentum.”

On Thursday, the Blazers returned home for a 3A East Conference match against Newcastle.

Torrington scored the first three goals of the match en route to a 3-1 victory over the Dogies.

“It was a rough one too,” Bartlett said. “Newcastle usually isn’t that rough.”

Eight minutes into the game, sophomore Elijah Hatch put the Blazers in front 1-0. Twelve minutes later, freshman Anthony Arnusch scored the first of his two goals.

A minute later, Arnusch netted his second goal of the game, pushing the Torrington lead to 3-0.

Four minutes later, Newcastle scored its only goal of the game.

Over the final 49 minutes, neither team scored again.

“It wasn’t like we let off the gas,” Bartlett said. “That whole second half, we had probably had 20 shots but couldn’t get any in. It was one of those days where you weren’t finishing.”

Despite the win, the Blazers suffered a major loss late in the game when junior midfielder Adam Bartlett went down with a broken collarbone.

“It’s a big loss,” Bartlett said. “He really solidifies our middle and our defense. With him, Greysen (Shields) and Kaden (Riggs), not a lot gets through the middle on us. We’ll start (Monday) trying to figure out how to plug that hole.

“We already started out with low numbers,” Bartlett added. “We have a good core of 11, and if we lose any of those, we are really going to have to scramble, and people are probably going to have to play some positions they’ve never played before.”

Torrington (4-2 overall and 3-1 in the 3A East) is back in action Friday at Douglas (2-4) before returning home to face Worland (7-0-1) on Saturday. Friday’s action is scheduled for 3 p.m., and on Saturday, kickoff is scheduled for noon.

“With Douglas, they have been the same for the past three years. They will go over the top and challenge the back line,” Bartlett said. “Worland, it’ll help that we’ve played them already to understand they are relentless. They play very similar to us in trying to control inside and outside, taking their shots and moving people into open spaces.”