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Lander boys soccer earns first tournament championship in school history

Tonight Lander boys soccer celebrates their schools first tournament championship (State tournament or in-season Jamborees) since soccer began in Wyoming in 1986. "This weekend was very successful, we were able to reach our team goal. We played together as a team creating goal scoring opportunities for a lot of players," reported Tigers Head Coach Dean Schaff. "The combination play combined with simple passes inside the final third led to most of our goals. We have some great individual efforts in every game, finishing with Abe Lowham saving to PK's to seal the victory." Beyond turning in a 3 wins, 1 draw and no losses at the Green River Invite to be crowned champions, the Tigers now have a lot of other things to celebrate. The team's scoring threat has officially deepened beyond midfielders Daniel Lobera and Jed Welsh to include 2 other players in Noah Peschio and Tony Schaff. The duo combined for 7 goals over the past 4 matches. Also, not captured on the score sheet is the organized play of the two Tiger center backs, Keaton Scott and Jim Fehringer. Individually they are very difficult to beat in field play (not set pieces), but to beat both for a goal has only happened 3 times in the past 6 matches. 14 teams met this weekend in Green River. Most were 3A sides (Worland, Jackson, Buffalo, Cody, Douglas, Star Valley, Rawlins, Pinedale, Powell, Torrington), but a few joined from 4A as well (Rock Springs, Green River and Evanston). Teams were divided into four brackets and played an early round to vie for Gold, Silver and Bronze bracket play on Saturday. In three of the brackets a coin toss (the 4th and final tie breaker) was required to break the first round ties. Lander benefitted from their coin toss and advanced to the Gold bracket while first round opponent Rock Springs entered the Silver bracket. In the Gold bracket, Lander met the Powell Panthers and went down early 1 - 0, before Noah Peschio received the sixth pass in a string between Tiger players to beat the keeper with a low left footed shot. The Panthers went back up on a corner kick in the second half, only to have it tied up by Daniel Lobera from a 28 yard direct kick that found the back corner of the net. Palmer Schafer took advantage of a scramble in front of the Panthers net to make contact with the ball for the 3 - 2 Tiger win. In the Championship match, the Tigers faced their recent conference rival Torrington Trailblazers. Torrington was able to enter the Gold bracket from outstanding defensive play that saw them hold 3A champion Jackson Broncs to a 0 - 0 tie. Two weeks earlier the Tigers beat Torrington 1 - 0, and despite being on a much larger turf field, this game followed a similar script until the final 10 minutes. Tony Schaff put the Tigers on the scoreboard early in the first half. A game tying goal was scored late, securing a Shots-from-the-mark Shootout. The Tigers keeper Abe Lowham became the hero saving 2 of the 4 shots placed on frame, while Peschio, Welsh, Lobera and Jake Calhoun all netted their shots. The Tigers look to extend their 2 - 0 conference record to 3 wins on Thursday night when the travel to play the Rawlins Outlaws. [image: 20160416_165025.jpg] *(feature pic: Lander Tigers accept Championship trophy)* #county10 #news