JACKSON – With the state tournament starting Thursday, the Rock Springs High School girls soccer team is ready to tie a bow on a spectacular season.
After winning their fourth-straight 4A West regional championship last Saturday, the Tigers are going into the state tournament with a perfect record of 18-0. Rock Springs has outscored its opponents 93-3, and the team has no plans on slowing down now.
“We are excited,” RSHS head coach Stephen Pyer said. “The girls are at the top of their game right now, and we are looking forward to getting up there and playing great soccer.”
Rock Springs only had two practices this week to prepare for the tournament, but Pyer made sure to make each one count.
“We worked a lot with the offense and the defense,” Pyer said. “All day Tuesday, we were taking set pieces over and over again. The back line did a great job and held the offense to zero goals. The point of this was to make sure our defense is ready for anything that gets thrown their way and to eliminate any easy scoring chances for our opponents.”
Being the only undefeated team in the state in 4A girls soccer, Rock Springs knows it’s going to get the best out of every opponent. Every team the Tigers face will try to give the Tigers their first loss of the season.
“We expect that,” Pyer said. “Every team at this tournament will be solid, and we are just going to take it one game at a time.”
The No. 1-ranked Tigers will open up tournament play at 9 a.m. Thursday, May 16, against No. 4 Cheyenne East High School. Due to Cheyenne East being in the Eastern Conference, Rock Springs hasn’t seen much of this team.
“We haven’t been able to watch much film on these guys, but we know they are a great team,” Pyer said. “They play very organized, and we know their defense will be the toughest one we have faced yet.”
Going into Thursday’s match, Pyer has no plans on making any drastic changes. He expects to keep the same 3-4-3 formation they have been playing with all season long.
“After about 10 or 15 minutes into the game, I will know if we will need to make any changes. We just need to see how the flow of the game goes at first and go from there.”
If the Tigers do win out on Thursday, Rock Springs will face the winner of Jackson and Thunder Basin high schools. Rock Springs has had a ton of success against Jackson this year, but the Tigers have yet to face Thunder Basin.
“Thunder Basin is another solid team,” Pyer said. “They are almost an exact replica of us. By that I mean they have weapons all over the field and they have three very fast forward up top that can move the ball well. We do know their defense struggles at times, especially when the opponent has more than one solid attacker. If we do happen to see them, I think we will match up just fine and I expect it to be another battle.”
Even though these two teams have a good chance of seeing each other in the second round, Rock Springs is only focused on one opponent right now: Cheyenne East.
“No matter who we face, we are going to remain confident in ourselves,” Pyer said. “The entire team has been working extremely hard all year to be in the situation they are in right now. It’s up to them to go out and prove just how bad they really want it.”