The spring sports season has been really kind to the Jackson Hole High School soccer teams thus far. Both the boys and girls are off to fast starts as the ’21 season is underway after COVID cancelled all play in 2020.
For the boys, the 2021 season is a matter of defending a state title now two years old. And defend it they have. Jackson has surrendered just 3 goals in their first four games. After a 5-2 win over Lander Valley to start the 2021 campaign, the Broncs shut out both Riverton and Green River before last Saturday’s 6-1 win over Rock Springs (2-2) at home.
The Jackson boys are now 4-0 on the season and look every bit as impressive as they did after leaving the pitch in 2019 with a state championship.
For the girls, so many unknowns loom on the horizon. Last year’s freshmen were relatively untested, so how would they respond to real games? So far, so good. The girls are also undefeated in four games, punishing Lander Valley, Riverton, and Green River before the season’s biggest test against Rock Springs—a match the girls used extra time to win 2-1 Saturday.
“The game was a little messy in the first half,” senior and team captain Melissa Kussy said of the Rock Springs contest that was back-and-forth early as both teams had their looks in a scoreless opening 40 minutes but neither could bang one home. “In the second half, we had a better game plan and were able to execute better.”
Still, it was Rock Springs that got on the board first on a beautiful transition goal. With about 10 minutes left in the contest, the Broncs got the equalizer from Taya McClennen. The freshman converted on a penalty kick that was originally stopped by the Tiger keeper, but McClennen beat everyone to the rebound and banged it home.
Two 10-minute overtime sessions later and senior Sela Hunter found the back of the net for her 6th goal of the season and the game winner. Goal keeper Sydney Nash had to make at least one big save down the stretch in overtime to preserve the win.
The boys had an easier go of things Saturday with their win over Rock Springs. After a tight first half, the Broncs busted open a 1-1 tie with 5 goals in the second for a 6-1 win.
Both teams have a layoff until April 9 games on the road against Casper.