SHERIDAN — A week ago, Sheridan High School girls soccer head coach Kevin Rizer didn’t want to accept any more moral victories. The Lady Broncs had shown improvements, however, they kept happening in defeats.
Rizer thought he was done with moral victories, however, he’ll take one following Friday night’s game and the point that went along with it.
Sheridan went blow for blow with conference leader Cheyenne Central for 80 minutes at Homer Scott Field before falling in overtime 6-3.
“It’s a moral victory,” Rizer said. “We took a few steps forward (Friday). If we play like this, we will be in every game, and we will battle in every game.”
The Lady Indians hadn’t given up more than one goal in any game this season and recorded nine shutouts. Sheridan found the back of the net three times in just 52 minutes.
Aria Heyneman opened the scoring in the 20th minute, and her goal flipped a switch for the Lady Broncs. The game’s first goal, in a half Central had dominated, gave Sheridan something Rizer has harped on all season — belief.
“As soon as they get into a situation where they recognize, ‘Oh we can do this,’ They’re going to be fabulous and you saw it today,” Rizer said. “We scored that first one and then the next thing you know we are in an overtime battle with the best team in the state.” Central came back and took its first lead of the game as Makyleigh Howard and Faith Meredith scored within two minutes of one other to make it a 2-1 game with 6:11 to play in the first half.
Sheridan’s Maddy Estes came back to level the score in the 35th minute, and just after halftime Courtney Wallach put the Lady Broncs ahead 3-2 with a goal in the 52nd minute.
Howard tallied her second equalizer of the night during the 59th minute. From there on out, Meredith took absolute control. She logged all three goals in the overtime period as Sheridan — which played against Cheyenne East Thursday night while Central didn’t play at all — simply ran out of gas.
“Elephant in the room is we played (Thursday) and they didn’t,” Rizer said. “We had to chase in the game (Thursday) because we didn’t play very well at the start, and in chasing the game you run your legs out a little bit. There’s a reality to that. … I think in the end, the difference is they moved the ball really well, and they make the ball work, and they wear you out chasing the ball.
“They’re not the No. 1 team in the state for nothing.”
The loss dropped the Lady Broncs to 2-7-1 (seven points) in conference play. Sheridan travels to Campbell County Tuesday for its final regular-season road game. The Lady Camels toppled the Lady Broncs 1-0 April 14 in Sheridan.
Cheyenne Central….2 1 3 — 6
Sheridan…………….2 1 0 — 3
First half_1, Sheridan, Aria Heyneman. 2, Cheyenne Central, Makyleigh Howard. 3, Cheyenne Central, Faith Meredith. 4, Sheridan Maddy Estes.
Second half_5, Sheridan, Courtney Wallach. 6, Cheyenne Central, Howard.
Overtime_7, Cheyenne Central, Howard. 8, Cheyenne Central, Howard. 9, Cheyenne Central, Howard.