EVANSTON — The Lady Red Devil soccer team dropped a heartbreaking conference decision to visiting Jackson on Saturday, April 13, as the Lady Broncs scored with around four minutes left in regulation to secure the 1-0 victory.
“I feel like we were quite similarly matched,” Lady Red Devil soccer head coach Karalyn Barton told the Herald.
“The first half was really pretty even in terms of possession but I thought we were the team controlling the ball in the second half,” Barton added.
“We had shots on goal and I felt we got fouled in the box but that did not get called and took away an opportunity.”
Barton’s team had a pregame workout, of sorts, in shoveling off the field along with school district personnel, the boys’ soccer team, parents and volunteers. She, like Red Devil soccer head coach Brian Richins, was most appreciative of everyone who stepped forward to help clear three inches of snow from the field. The start time of the girls’ game was delayed about a half-hour to 1:30 p.m. to give the field more time to dry out.
“It was cold, wet and slippery but it was much better than the mudhole it could have been had the field not been shoveled,” Barton said. The coach believed there were at least fifty people with shovels helping to clear the EMS soccer field.
The wet and slippery conditions led to the game’s lone score in the coach’s opinion.
“That’s a ball that our keeper, Bailey Porter, world ordinarily make an easy catch for a save but when she batted it back out, it went right back to a Jackson girl who was in the right place to boot it in for the score,” Barton explained.
The coach is excited for today’s conference rematch with the Natrona County Fillies at the EMS soccer field. Evanston and Natrona battled to a 1-1 tie back on March 23 in Casper. Evanston is in sixth place at 0-4-2 (wins, losses and ties) in the 4A West and 0-5-2 overall, while the standings show Natrona County a notch above in fifth place, with an 0-2-4 conference record and 0-3-4 on the season.
“I told the girls that I believe that we are the better team and feel confident that we can go out and turn that tie into a win this time around,” Barton said.
“We are so close to realizing our potential, considering our limited time on an actual field. I feel like we’re very focused and our girls are really getting a feel for where they need to be on the field,” Barton affirmed.
“We’re excited and really looking forward to the rematch with Natrona.”
With the season at the midpoint, Lady Red Devil soccer only has about 10 practices remaining. The team has had a total of one outdoor practice on the season and that was last Monday, April 8. They did join the boys’ team to practice at an indoor facility in Park City, as being confined to a gymnasium for practice has been detrimental to both Evanston teams’ growth and catching up, in terms of development with the other soccer teams around the state, the vast majority of whom have turf facilities. Turf dries out much faster once snow has been removed which is a definite disadvantage to the Evanston soccer programs.