Apr. 17—LARAMIE — Although it couldn't get much going on offense, the Cheyenne South girls soccer team's defense kept the team in the game Friday afternoon.
It was an early second half goal, however, that gave Sheridan a 1-0 victory over the Lady Bison at the University of Wyoming's indoor practice facility.
Sheridan finished with 14 shots on goal and 16 shots overall, but struggled to get all but one of its attempts past senior goalie Kaylea Warnick.
"Defensively, I thought we played pretty good, fairly organized and knew our jobs and roles ... that was probably the best individual game I've seen (Warnick) play," South coach Brandon McHenry said. "We allowed them to not do the things that they wanted to do, which was nice."
In the 10th minute, Sheridan freshman Callista Roush found Aria Heyneman slicing to the left side of the net. Heyneman was threatening to give the Lady Broncs the early advantage, but Warnick came off her line, jumped on the ball and secured the save.
Just three minutes later, the Broncs had three simultaneous shots on goal, all of which were stopped by Warnick.
"A lot of (my stops) had to do with communication," Warnick said. "I was doing well with communicating with everyone out there and everyone was doing well communicating with me.
"It just made it easier for me to be moving and to be in the right place at the right time."
Sheridan (4-3-1) had another good look at the net with just under 90 seconds remaining in the first half. Heyneman found Catie Kuhl on a corner kick, where Kuhl headed the ball that went just left of the goal, leaving the game scoreless going into the break.
To open the second half, Sheridan had three shots in the 43rd, with two of them being on goal. Warnick and South's defense continued to not let anything come easy.
"Our defense has improved a lot," South freshman Emma Cortez said. "We take time with the ball and whenever we desperately need to we can clear it out so we don't have as much pressure."
Heyneman managed to gain control of a deflected ball near the net and break the score in the 53rd, giving the Broncs the 1-0 lead and scoring the lone goal of the contest.
Bison freshman Savannah Kohlhagen sailed a free kick that went just above the top crossbar from nearly to 30 yards out, which could have tied the contest in the 57th. Following that, South found the most offensive momentum it had in the final few minutes of the contest, but couldn't knot the score.
South (0-5) and Sheridan last played March 27 and in those three weeks, the Bison have taken a noticeable leap.
"Organizationally we were in the right spots, and our movement was fairly decent," McHenry said. "There's been a ton of growth even since the first time we played Sheridan. Playing young, being young and not having a ton of experience but finding out what to do and how to play is big."
South takes the field against Campbell County at 5 p.m. today at the UW IPF.
SHERIDAN 1, SOUTH 0
Goals: Sheridan, Heyneman, 53.
Shots: Sheridan 16, Cheyenne South 2. Shots on goal: Sheridan 14, South 1. Saves: Sheridan 1 (Gardner), South 13 (Warnick).
Corner kicks: Sheridan 4, South 0. Offsides: Sheridan 5, South 1. Fouls: Sheridan 5, South 6. Yellow cards: South 2 (Cortez 62, team 63).
Robert Munoz is a writer for WyoSports. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @rmunoz307.