SHERIDAN — Many people squirm when they hear the day and date coincide. It happens rarely, but when it does, unease soon follows. Friday the 13th sits as a day of superstition, and a day rumored to embody strange occurrences.
Those anomalies can even seep into the sporting realm.
The Sheridan High School boys soccer team outplayed Thunder Basin Friday night at Homer Scott Field. The Broncs fired more than double the amount of shots on goal and looked crisp on both sides of the ball for long stretches. However, the Bolts tallied a pair of second half goals and held on for a 2-1 victory.
“It was a tale of two halves,” Sheridan head coach Scott Soderstrom said. “We played a hell of a good game in the first half, and the second half was rough.”
Sheridan switched up its offensive identity and it worked quite well in the opening half. The Broncs outshot the Bolts 3-1 and controlled a lion’s share of the offensive possession, but the consistent pressure didn’t result in a goal.
“I think that first half was the best half of soccer we’ve played all year,” Soderstrom said. “It looked great. We changed up our system and put in a scripted offense, and it really looked beautiful.”
Sheridan’s Aaron Sessions was a handful for Thunder Basin. The Broncs’ forward found numerous creases in the defense during the first 45 minutes and had multiple shots on goal, however, none bested Thunder Basin goaltender Jacoby Garcia.
“We had our opportunities, and we don’t have an excuse for those balls not to be in the net,” Soderstrom said.
Sessions created another scoring opportunity that misfired in the early stages of the second half just before the Bolts recorded the game’s first score. Fidencio Meza-Pelayo found the back of the net, beating Sheridan goalie Nate Roe, in the 43rd minute.
The Broncs let the disappointment linger and Thunder Basin took advantage adding to its total with a goal from Kolby Hayes during the 56th minute. A Sheridan defense that had played stout for most of the contest stood noticeably shaken.
“We let (that first goal) get into our heads,” Sheridan’s Kyle Custis said. “We lost our composure a little bit. We retaliated and we started talking a little bit. We started playing boom ball instead of good soccer. … We really need to not let goals affect us and keep our composure when a team scores.
Sheridan’s offense continued to push but couldn’t create the same opportunities it did in the opening 45 minutes. Toby Jacobs finally broke the seal for the Broncs with under a minute to play but the game was a formality at that point.
Sheridan outshot Thunder Basin 9-4 for the game.
The loss dropped Broncs to 3-4-2 overall and 1-3-1 in conference play. The Bolts improved to 9-0-1 overall and 4-0-1 in conference to remain atop the standings. While the result Friday night isn’t what Soderstrom wanted — a second conference home loss this season — he still sits optimistic on what his team can accomplish in what he believes is a wide open conference race.
“I think we can play with anybody,” Soderstrom said. “There’s so much parity in 4A. It’s pretty wild. You wouldn’t make any money in Vegas betting on anybody. There’s no rhyme or reason the way the stuff is going.
“I think we are fine with where we are at.”
Sheridan will look to bounce back as it hits the road and squares off against rival Campbell County Saturday at 12 p.m.
Thunder Basin….0 2 — 2
Sheridan…………0 1 — 1
First half_No scoring
Second half_1, Thunder Basin, Fidencio Meza-Pelayo, 2, Thunder Basin, Kolby Hayes, 1, Sheridan, Toby Jacobs