EVANSTON — Lady Red Devil soccer, especially down the stretch in the conference season, could be described as “oh, so close” and/or heartbreaking. For the second consecutive time in the month of April, Evanston fell to Green River, 2-1, in overtime — the first was in Green River on April 5, and again, three weeks later on April 26, at Evanston City Field.
Senior foward and midfielder Sierra Burleigh gave Evanston the early lead in the second meeting on a Lady Red Devil counter attack following a save by senior keeper Bailey Porter. Sophomore Quetzalli Penaloza set Burleigh up with a nice assist and the senior scored with 3:43 left in the first half. Evanston would maintain that lead until 15:25 left in the second half, when Lady Wolve senior defender Zoe Turner evened things up for Green River at 1-1.
The teams would end regulation play still deadlocked at a goal apiece and remained tied through the first 10 minutes of overtime.
At the 7:31 mark of the second overtime, the field was evacuated, due to nearby lightning strikes and play was suspended for approximately 45 minutes.
Evanston held attack through most of the extra periods, possessing the ball in the Green River third of the field. A quick counter-attack by the Lady Wolves freed up junior midfielder and forward Carly Kettering for an 18-yard score to the left corner of the goal, just beyond the outstretched fingertips of Porter with
Rock Springs will likely receive a first-round bye for the regional tournament hosted by Natrona County. A pair of wins to close the season could very well vault the Lady Red Devils out of the cellar to avoid a first-round regional pairing against Kelly Walsh, who should finish in second place in the 4A West. From there, anything is possible, including a state tournament birth for just the second time in school history. Even if they finish in last place in the conference standings, Evanston has demonstrated that they can play with any team in the conference.
The Red Devil soccer team is in much the same boat, even after securing their first conference win in a 3-2 decision over visiting Rock Springs on Tuesday, April 23. Evanston is still in seventh place in the seven-team 4A West, but has three games remaining, including yesterday’s match against Green River, too late for press time. Evanston and Green River were scheduled to meet for the second time last Friday, but the lightning weather delay during the girls’ game forced the postponement to Monday, April 29. The Red Devils’ remaining schedule mirrors that of the Lady Red Devils — at home against Star Valley today at 5 p.m. and at Jackson on Friday, scheduled for 6 p.m.