EVANSTON — The curtain came down on the EHS soccer seasons during the opening round of the 4A West Conference regional tournament in Casper on May 9.
The Lady Red Devils were defeated, 3-0, by the fifth-ranked Kelly Walsh Trojans and the guys were knocked out by the fifth-ranked Star Valley Braves. Both teams appeared to be playing their best soccer down the stretch, and one has to wonder how things would have played out if the the seasons were extended and Evanston had not been so far behind in bringing it all together. The EHS teams had the distinct disadvantage of being relegated to practicing in a gym for more than half of the regular season.
Kelly Walsh downed the Lady Red Devils, 5-1 and 4-1, during the conference run, so the 3-0 regional tourney loss demonstrates Evanston’s improved competitiveness. The Lady Red Devils proved they could play with virtually any team in the 4A ranks.
Both EHS teams have got to be torn in not qualifying for state, as they realize they “left it all on the field, but the boys’ team has got to be particularly disappointed, considering Star Valley went on to win the 4A West regional and Green River, a team Evanston tied and handily defeated in conference play, qualified for state, placing second. The Red Devils, by far and away, provided the Braves with their toughest match, en route to Star Valley’s 4A West Conference tournament crown.
After 100 minutes of combined regulation and overtime play, nothing was decided and the match came down to a shootout, which ended as follows:
Star Valley keeper Alek Lawson stops a Micah Liechty attempt.
Gerson Lozano then scores, even though Evanston keeper Latham Chandler gets a hand on the shot. 1-0, Braves.
Evanston’s Bradshaw Haack fakes right and goes left to score for the Red Devils, tying things up at 1-1.
Robert Choma fakes left and sends an off-speed roller to the right for the second Braves’ score. Star Valley leads, 2-1.
Lawson blocks a Weston Wiley attempt and it’s still 2-1, Braves.
Micah Hoakum finds the far left corner of the net to give Star Valley a 3-1 advantage.
Pablo Escalante goes dead center and scores for the Red Devils, pulling Evanston to within one, at 3-2.
Chase Merrill’s attempt for the Braves sails over the goal and it’s still 3-2, Star Valley.
Lawson blocks a Julian Beltran attempt that was sailing to the right and Star Valley wins, 3-2.
The Red Devils have never qualified for the state tournament but were oh, so close this time around.
The Lady Red Devils qualified once in school history, back in 2016.