SHERIDAN — Sheridan High School boys soccer head coach Scott Soderstrom couldn’t quite explain why, but he knew Friday’s result would sting longer than most.
The Broncs outplayed Cheyenne South in the two teams’ conference opener Friday night at Homer Scott Field, however, the Bison walked away with a 3-1 victory.
“I felt like the score wasn’t a very good representation of how close the game was,” Soderstrom said. “We know we dominated the ball out of the air.
We had way more shots on net. We won the majority of 50-50 balls, and we just couldn’t get anything to fall.
“It’s hugely disappointing.”
The majority of the contest played out in Sheridan’s offensive zone.
The Broncs fired 15 shots, seven on target, but only one slipped past Cheyenne South goalie Isiah Reynolds. South, on the other hand, managed a mere seven shots, but nearly half of those bested Sheridan goalkeeper Sam Salyards.
“This is a hard one to swallow,” Sheridan’s Aaron Sessions said. “You get more shots on goal than they do, but they just made theirs. It’s just all these trash goals that are luck. We just got to get to the right spot at the right time.”
Sessions accounted for six shots, but none found the back of the net. Sam Smart logged Sheridan’s lone goal of the night.
A wild flurry in front of South’s goal resulted in Smart inching the ball past the goal line for a score that required the referee to signal well after the fact.
Smart represented one of a couple Broncs that played in unfamiliar positions Friday. Smart faired well, recording three shots as a forward.
“Sam Smart did an awesome job,” Soderstrom said. “The couple guys playing new positions tonight, they did a great job.”
Smart’s 30th minute goal leveled the score at 1-1 after South’s Joe Young tallied the game’s first goal during the 24th minute.
The Broncs came out of the halftime locker room with their best soccer of the night. Sheridan utilized a couple combinations that presented a few ripe scoring opportunities, but none were harvested.
“We clicked in the first part of the second half, and after that we kind of lost our focus,” Sessions said.
The Bison capitalized in the 44th minute when AJ Johnson beat Salyards. South added to its advantage 20 minutes later as Tyler Flynn cleaned up a shot that Salyards couldn’t corral in front of the net.
Salyards got the nod in goal for the Broncs in what Soderstrom referred to as an, “open competition,” earlier in the week. Salyards settled in after an early-game blundered than nearly cost Sheridan.
The Broncs made several pushes in the game’s final 15 minutes but none resulted in goals. And while the home opener didn’t goal as planned, Sessions remains confident Sheridan can bounce back swiftly.
“We’ll come back in the morning and reboot,” Sessions said.
The Broncs (1-2-1) battle Laramie Saturday at 12 p.m.