Lady Wolves start with a win

The Green River High School girls soccer team is off to a strong start under new leadership, starting the season 1-1 after last weekend's games.

The Lady Wolves faced their first opponent last Friday when they took on Cheyenne South at home. The game was tied after each team had scored one goal, with Zella Maez getting Green River's goal during the first half. Cheyenne South tied the game with a goal late in the second half. The game went into a shoot out, and Brynlee Doak and Kiley Strange scored penalty kicks while Karlee Bode stopped two of Cheyenne South's penalty kicks. Green River came away with the 2-1 victory in their first game of the season.

Last Saturday, the Lady Wolves faced off against Laramie. Green River was off to a good start with an early goal by Ellie Kettering. Laramie scored two goals later in the first half, but Doak tied the game with a goal just before halftime. The game stayed tied for most of the second half, but Laramie scored with about 90 seconds left in the game, beating Green River 3-2.

"A little bit of a punch in the gut there at the end," head coach Matthew Robles said, thinking about the close loss to Laramie. But he also praised the way the team handled the loss.

"These girls definitely responded in a way that I am excited to see. They didn't hang their heads. They came back when we got down and they just kept plugging away and fighting so it's kind of what I've been asking them to do all year. No matter what the score is we play for 80 minutes. And they did that."

While Robles has already spent time working with the team, this is his first season as Green River's head coach. He previously coached soccer at Western Wyoming Community College and had taken a few years away from the sport before he got the job at GRHS.

"I'm back to doing what I love to do," Robles said. "I always seem happier when I'm coaching and this is what I want to do with my life."

Robles is especially excited to be working with the Lady Wolves and seeing how well the team is doing already.

"These girls have a lot of heart and I'm proud to say I'm their coach," he said. "They make me proud every day of practice."

Both Robles and the team members are excited to have already started the season with a win. Robles pointed out the team only won two games last season, both against 3A opponents, so the win against Cheyenne South was the team's first win against a 4A opponent in over a year.

"The girls were very excited," Robles said. "It was one of the goals they set, was to win some games this year."

The Lady Wolves are aiming for the state championship, as every team does at the beginning of the year, and Robles supports them in that desire.

"I think we're currently on track to compete well in our region and make conference difficult for teams," he said. He's hoping these first two games have already shown some of the other teams, including teams from the east which historically win more often, what Green River is capable of. "I think that we may have given them a little bit of a taste of what we're about this year. And I think that gives us a good boost of confidence."

Going into the rest of the season, Robles thinks the team's defense is already strong and the offense will just need a little more energy and conditioning in order to press the game forward even more. But in general, while the goal is always to get to state, Robles ultimately is excited to see the team improve.

"My goal for my teams every year is to be better every day, even if it's just a minor growth every day," he said.

Robles is also looking forward to competing and going up against teams that could be overlooking Green River right now.

"I think that once they actually see how we play ... they'll be a little more taken aback and realizing we're not the same team as we were last year," Robles said.


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