CHEYENNE – It took an entire half for the Cheyenne Central girls soccer team to find its offensive rhythm, but once it did, it didn’t have any trouble getting good looks at the net.
Early second half momentum helped the Lady Indians pick up a 2-0 win over Cheyenne East on Thursday afternoon at Okie Blanchard Stadium. It was both teams first match since the 2019 season.
“Our intensity just wasn’t there (in the first half) and that was one thing that needed to change,” Central coach Jeff Norman said. “And we made some changes in the middle and up top (in the second half) which led to much more of an attack.”
Both teams weren’t letting anything easy get by on the defensive side in the first half. Central had a few looks but couldn’t convert and East’s best look of the game came on a Tayler Miller header in the 35th minute. Miller received a crossing pass from Alyssa Haime, but the attempt went just high.
Central junior Calie Mosely had two consecutive looks right before halftime, but couldn’t get them past Lady Thunderbirds’ goalie Kiara Kershaw.
The Indians (1-0) came out of the break with a lot more aggression and managed to find success early. Senior Zoe Lam got out on a breakaway in the 43rd, but Kershaw met her at the edge of the penalty area and didn’t give her an opportunity to get a shot off. Two minutes later, Lam was again on the attack and this time finished the play, giving Central a 1-0 lead.
“We have a lot of players without a lot of varsity experience playing and once they scored on us we went into frenzy mode and that hurt,” East coach Rebecca Valdez said.
Mosely didn’t wait long to increase Central’s lead. She sped past the East defenders and found the back of the net in the 60th, which helped seal the game for the Indians.
“We finally started to build on the back and work together,” Mosely said. “We started to kick in (with our speed) and get the momentum.”
Injuries and cramping impacted East throughout the game, which led to some young players stepping up and playing more than expected.
“We had to put a lot of young players on the field in positions that they weren’t used to and we played with a lot of nerves (Thursday) and I think it showed on the field,” Valdez said. “But that’s OK, we learn from these games.”
In only its first game of the season, Norman was pleased with his team’s ability to respond to changes made during the game, which allowed the Indians to pull away.
“(I was impressed with) the ability to have a bad first half and be able to turn it around and adjust to some of the changes we made tactically and to be successful with it,” Norman said. “They did a very good job with that, which I think ultimately was the game changer.”
East travels to play Thunder Basin today at 6 p.m. Central will also go on the road Saturday to take the field against Thunder Basin.
CENTRAL 2, EAST 0
Goals: Central, Lam (Allen), 45. Central, Mosely (Brenchley), 60.
Shots: Central 7, East 5. Shots on goal: Central 11, East 4. Saves: Central 4 (Foster), East 9 (Kershaw).
Corner kicks: Central 5, East 1. Offsides: Central 1, East 1. Fouls: Central 8, East 6.