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Central dominates possession in win over South

May 3—CHEYENNE — Cheyenne Central's boys soccer team controlled its season-finale with Cheyenne South from the opening kickoff until the final horn.

The No. 3-ranked Indians surrendered no shots on goal through the full 80 minutes of play, allowing the Bison to cross midfield just a handful of times in a 4-0 win.

"We started really well in the first half," Central coach Dirk Dijkstal said. "We had a bit of a lull after the second goal, but then we came back, and we accomplished a lot of the goals we wanted to get out of this game."

Central opened the game with two goals in a span of just under five minutes. In the second minute, senior Sammy Shumway fed a pass to Logan Custis, who managed to slip behind the defense and blast a shot past South junior keeper Aiden Mitchell for the 1-0 lead. Just under three minutes later, Cone-LeBeaumont scored from in tight to make it 2-0.

For the next 33 minutes, Central continued to control time of possession, but South's defense held up. In the 38th minute, Cone-LeBeaumont found Andy Lam for a shot from about 25 yards out that took an awkward bounce and went past Mitchell and into the net.

"Central is very technical," Bison coach Joshua Eastman said. "They have been together for a few more years than our boys have, and when you stay together and work hard together, it pays off."

With the wind at its side in the second half, Central poured on the pressure. The Indians generated all 12 shot attempts in the closing 40 minutes. More importantly, it allowed South just a handful of trips into the attacking third.

"It (came down to) one-two touch passes," Dijkstal said. "The big thing we were working on was making sure we were playing with a purpose before we receive the ball."

While the wind was aiding Central in keeping the ball in South's end, it was also a hindrance. Any time the Indians attempted a shot off the ground, the wind sent the ball high over the crossbar.

In the 68th minute, that changed. Cone-LeBeaumont scored his second goal of the game, dancing between five Bison defenders before firing a low shot to the bottom left corner of the net to put Central up 4-0.

It proved to be the final nail in the coffin for South.

"South likes to sit on their back line," said junior midfielder Nate Brenchley, who had the assist on Cone-LeBeaumont's goal. "We're used to playing over-the-top ball, but this game, we had to focus on passing around them and getting some crosses."

The win locks up the No. 1 seed for the Indians in next week's Class 4A regional tournament. The No. 1 seed locks up a first-round bye at regionals for Central and an automatic bid to the state tournament in Rock Springs.

Dijskstal said his message to the team as it heads into the postseason is that, from this point forward, everything is a must-win game, and there is no room for error.

South will take the No. 7 seed at regionals and play Sheridan in the first round. The Bison know anything can happen in the regional tournament, as they nearly upset Thunder Basin last year in Sheridan.

"We're a program that grows every game, and the message (heading into regionals) is what happened last year," Eastman said. "The boys were right there at the end of the season, and we are a program that continues to get better and better as the season progresses."

CENTRAL 4, SOUTH 0

Halftime: Central 3-0

Goals: Central, Custis (Shumway), 2, Central, Cone-LeBeaumont (Hendren), 5, Central, Lam (Cone-LeBeaumont), 38, Central, Cone-LeBeaumont (Brenchley), 68.

Shots: Central 19, South 0. Shots on goal: Central 14, South 0. Saves: Central 0 (Somerset), South 10 (Mitchell).

Corner kicks: Central 5, South 0. Offsides: Central, South. Fouls: Central, South.

Matt Atencio covers Laramie County prep sports for WyoSports. He can be reached at matencio@wyosports.net. Follow him on X at @MattAtencio5.