Laramie girls cruise past visiting Central

May 2—LARAMIE — Rain turned into large snowflakes early Wednesday, forcing the No. 4-ranked Laramie High girls soccer team to spend its senior night away from Deti Stadium.

Laramie's graduating class made the most of its celebratory night, scoring two first-half goals against Cheyenne Central inside the University of Wyoming's Indoor Practice Facility.

The Indians' offense couldn't keep pace, as Laramie cruised to a 5-0 win.

Central struggled to create threatening opportunities early and was out-shot 12-1 over the first 40 minutes of play. The Plainsmen have been searching for a strong first half, and found it with two goals over that span.

"(The start) was everything we had been working on the last two weeks," Laramie coach Kim Whisenant said. "Our offensive patters and moves are what we've really been hitting at. So, for me to see that unfold in a game was really nice."

Four minutes into play, sophomore Devani Romero dribbled the ball up the right sideline and connected on a pass to Ava Wallhead just in front of the box. Wallhead tapped the ball by Central goalkeeper senior Jenna Feldman, jolting the team with energy.

The Plainsmen nearly struck again a minute later after a corner kick from senior Chloe Whisenant was headed over the net by senior Kierra Osborne. Laramie freshman Sia Taufa threatened later in the half, heading the ball off the crossbar.

Laramie cashed in shortly after with another corner opportunity from Chloe Whisenant finding the leg of senior Mercedes Garcia, which she buried into the back of the net.

"(A quick start) is what our team needed to boost our confidence," Wallhead said. "If we can keep up with how we played today, then I don't see that wavering."

Central fired one shot off in the 28th minute from 45 yards out, but the ball lost steam and resulted in an effortless save from LHS goalkeeper senior McKenna Barham.

"(Laramie) is a very strong team," Central assistant coach Abby Morillon said. "They've put in the work offensively and defensively to play like this."

The second half didn't fare much better for Central. In the 56th minute, Wallhead added her second goal of the night that was assisted by Romero for the second time.

Wallhead gained possession of the ball from 12 yards out, and was left with just enough space to fire a shot. Under a minute later, senior Kaylee Kern scored her first goal of the season unassisted.

The ball soared into the upper left corner of the net, putting LHS up four goals. The pressure continued, as the Plainsmen attempted three corner kicks and added five shots through the first 15 minutes of the second half.

In the 68th, Osborne joined the goal party and nabbed her first of the season. Osborne corralled a pass from teammate sophomore Gracie Smith and was left alone in the middle of the field.

"(The seniors) had a lot of adrenaline," Kim Whisenant said. "(Central) has a bunch of seniors, too. That sort of thing can go either way. Our kids set the tone from the beginning.

"They gave a full 80 minutes today, which is what I've been asking them to do."

The Indians got off just one more shot in the game late in the second half. Morrilon mentioned development on the field being there for the Central starters, but mindset still being an issue.

"Our starters have done a tremendous job of improving and taking what we've had to say," Morrilon said. "They've had constant improvement this season. These girls have a lot of heart."

Laramie (10-3 overall, 10-1 Class 4A East Conference) concludes the regular season on Friday in a road game against Cheyenne East (4-4-4, 2-4-4).

"This game felt really good," Wallhead said. "I'm proud of our team spirit and think this is exactly what we needed."

Cheyenne Central (2-9-2, 0-9-2) will finish their season on the road Friday in a crosstown match with Cheyenne South (2-8-2, 1-7-2).

"Our girls know they can do it (on the field)," Morillon said. "For us, it's been about the mental side of the sport."


Halftime: Laramie 2-0.

Goals: Laramie, Wallhead (Romero) 4, Laramie, Garcia (Whisenant) 33, Laramie, Wallhead (Romero) 56, Laramie, Kern (unassisted) 57, Laramie, K. Osborne (Smith) 68.

Shots: Laramie 25, Central 2. Shots on goal: Laramie 16, Central 2. Saves: Laramie (Barham 1, Coffin 1) 2 Central (Feldmann) 1.

Corner kicks: Laramie 10, Central 0. Offsides: Laramie 2, Central 1. Fouls: Laramie 6, Central 3.

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Austin Edmonds covers Laramie High, University of Wyoming and community athletics for WyoSports. He can be reached at Follow him on X at @_austinedmonds.