CROSSING THE BRACKET

The PHS soccer teams travel to Pinedale and Worland for the first soccer tournaments of the 2022 season.

Emma Johnson

More stories from Emma Johnson

A DESERVING TITLE
May 26, 2022
For+the+2022+Pinnacle+Cup%2C+hosted+by+Worland+and+Pinedale%2C+the+success+of+making+it+across+the+bracket+was+savored+by+the+PHS+soccer+teams.

Emma Johnson

For the 2022 Pinnacle Cup, hosted by Worland and Pinedale, the success of making it across the bracket was savored by the PHS soccer teams.

With both PHS soccer teams each coming off with a win against Pinedale in the season home-opener two weekends ago, the respective Panthers and Lady Panthers had the opportunity to do something that hadn’t been feasible for the past two years: competing in a tournament. 

With their respective long bus rides, the varsity soccer teams competed in the 2022 Pinnacle Cup on March 25-26: the girls traveled to Pinedale and the boys to Worland. After a series of three games each, the Panthers took home second place and the Lady Panthers received fourth place. 

After the pandemic altered all possible spring tournaments last year, this was definitely a milestone for all the attending players. 

“It felt good to play in a tournament,” senior Sarah Hampton said. “We haven’t done that in awhile so it really was nice to see how other teams looked and have the chance to go up against teams that we normally wouldn’t play. We had our ups and downs but we worked through them … I feel that the team played well.”

Despite only coming out of the tournament with one win from junior Jordyn Dearcorn’s sole goal against Rawlins, the sentiment shared across the board was the girls’ ability this weekend to hold up against the tough competition and keep the goals to a minimum (Buffalo 1-0 and Worland 3-0).

“We knew from last year that Worland was a solid team and with Buffalo, we were aware of our loss against them 6-0 in the previous season,” science teacher Coach Mrs. Kaitlin Loeffen said. “One-on-one, we were able to keep it competitive and overall, winning the game off the bat was able to give us a taste of how important those first games are.”

And in that first game against Rawlins,the determination of a particular player and her teammates allowed her to score her literal and figurative goal.

The tournament was good because we got to play teams out of our conference.”

— Logan Jensen

“It felt amazing to score that goal,” Dearcorn said. “Especially since I had missed one of my shots by hitting the goal post earlier in the game… I was determined to redeem myself and it reminded me why I play the sport.” 

As for the boys team, being able to compete in a bracket with teams they usually didn’t play was an unforeseen advantage to the approach for the rest of the season.

“The tournament was good because we got to play teams out of our conference,” junior Logan Jensen said. “The game time was shorter and helped us with getting as many scoring chances as possible in a shorter amount of time. I’m looking forward for our improvement over time and developing the state title team.”

And for some of the more seasoned players, there were a surplus of positives to take away from participation in the tournament and the optimism for the future games. 

“Our team was doing very well with defending this weekend,” senior Hawkin Sweeney said. “We only conceded two goals in the tournament, in which both of them were from free kicks, not open play. We have a relatively young and new team but we are improving with every practice and game so I have high expectations for us in the games to come.”