Tyler Johnson, [email protected]
ROCK SPRINGS, WYOMING (May 24, 2021) – Horns blaring. Sirens wailing. Fans cheering.
As the Rock Springs High School Lady Tigers’ bus drove down Dewar Drive on Saturday night, they were escorted by law enforcement and greeted by a community that couldn’t have been prouder for the team’s greatest achievement yet.
The Lady Tigers claimed their first-ever Wyoming State Championship after defeating Thunder Basin, 2-0, earlier that afternoon.
The girls soccer team walked off the bus to a thunderous cheer and a celebration ensued just outside the front doors of Rock Springs High School.
Horns continued to blare from cars parked along James Drive and fans nearby continued to cheer. Rock Springs head coach Stephen Pyer was drowned in water that was left over in the cooler and then was heavily sprayed with silly string by some of his players.
“I’m speechless. It’s cool what the parents and what the community do for us when we put in the work and the effort to perform like that. For them to show the girls the recognition that they deserve, it’s awesome,” Pyer said.
The championship game came with some adversity early on. Senior Alex Moeller, who has been the team’s goalkeeper the last three seasons and recently signed to play at Carroll College, was injured in the game’s opening minutes. Pyer said juniors Caroline Hamilton and Karli Nelson stepped up to fill in at the position to close out the game.
The Lady Tigers scored the game’s first goal shortly after Moeller’s injury. Pyer said that goal calmed the team’s nerves a bit. The second goal came with about 10 minutes left in the first half.
“The second half was just a constant battle,” Pyer said. “The clock just slowly kept ticking down and then the game was over. It was a good feeling. I couldn’t ask for more from the girls.”
This season and the championship run had an extra feeling to it. Last season was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic and they were denied the opportunity to compete. Pyer said that this year’s championship isn’t just about the players on the current roster. He said the seniors on last year’s team, along with coaches from youth leagues, are a part of this run as well.
“The seniors that missed it last year are part of this. They helped make this team the way they are,” Pyer said. “Our club coaches, from when they were U-8 to U-14 before they came to high school, they put in the work. I’m glad the girls’ hard work finally paid off.
“Last year sucked with not having a season, but when we were allowed to play again, they stepped right back on the field and picked up right where they left off.
“We just never held back.”
4A Girls Soccer All-State and West All-Conference Awards
On Monday, the Wyoming High School Activities Association announced the recipients for All-State and All-Conference awards. The Lady Tigers had several players represented on the All-State and West All-Conference roster.
- Lauren Profaizer, Sr. — All-Conference
- Zoe Silovich, Sr. — All-State and All-Conference
- Amrey Willoughby, Sr. — All-State and All-Conference
- Novaleigh Moses, Jr. — All-State and All-Conference
- Olivia Politi, Sr. — All-Conference
- Emily Taucher, Jr. — All-State and All-Conference
- Brecken Hunsaker, Jr. — All-State and All-Conference
- Kylee Knudsen, Jr. — All-State and All-Conference
- Karli Nelson, Jr. — All-Conference