BIG HORN — Toby Jacobs saw the play develop in front of him and knew what to do.
Early in the second half of Saturday’s game against Cheyenne South, the Sheridan High School soccer player watched as teammate Ethan Rickett dribbled the ball across the field with a defender in pursuit. Jacobs filled the lane behind Rickett, received the drop-off pass with a clean look at goal and fired a strike from about 25 yards out with his left foot into the corner of the net.
“We’ve been playing together for a while so I kind of saw what [Rickett] was going to do and it opened up for me,” Jacobs said. “… It was a really nice opportunity for me that he made.”
The goal put Sheridan on the board and helped propel the Broncs to a 2-1 victory over the Bison at Big Horn High School. The third straight win improved Sheridan to 3-5 (nine points) in conference and 4-5 overall.
The Broncs controlled possession for most of the game and repeatedly put pressure on South’s defense. The offensive attack didn’t result in any goals in the first stanza, but Sheridan’s players and coaches encouraged each other at halftime to keep battling.
“We had the offense going the whole first half,” Sheridan head coach Scott Soderstrom said. “We just couldn’t get anything to fall, and we had a couple of very nice finishes in the second half.”
Jacobs netted his goal less than four minutes into the final half, and Tristan Bower converted a shot with just under three minutes remaining to give Sheridan a two-goal advantage. Bower came close to scoring earlier in the game on a shot that bounced off the top crossbar before finding success on his final shot on goal from about 20 yards out.
Defensively, the Broncs provided stout opposition for the most part. The Bison threatened to tie the contest with about 11 minutes remaining, but Sheridan goalie Sam Salyards saved a free kick attempt and corner kick within 30 seconds of each other to keep the lead intact. South tallied a score with 21 seconds remaining to momentarily make things interesting before the clock ran out.
Soderstrom said the upperclassmen defensive trio of Garrett Coon, Quinn Heyneman and Eli Johnston did an excellent job preventing the majority of South’s promising chances.
Jacobs said the players have gained confidence after a slow start to the season. The team’s defense and offense have played off each other’s successes, which has led to quality wins.
With three consecutive victories by a combined score of 11-2, Sheridan has started clicking on all cylinders.
“We’ve really improved every week and these last few games have really come together,” Soderstrom said.
With wins like the one Saturday, Sheridan seems headed in the right direction for the homestretch of the season.
The Broncs travel Thursday to Natrona County.
Cheyenne South…0 1 — 1
Sheridan……….…0 2 — 2
Second half_1, Sheridan, Toby Jacobs; 2, Sheridan, Tristan Bower. 1, Cheyenne South, Misael Alvarado.