Shumway's hat trick powers Central to win over East

May 10—CHEYENNE — Sometimes, all it takes is a little bit of extra fuel for an athlete to get going.

After scoring his first goal of the game, senior captain Sammy Shumway took a hard hit just shy of midfield and was forced to leave the game. Not three minutes later, the senior came back and scored.

He added two goals following the hit to complete his hat trick and help send Central to the Class 4A East regional final with a 4-0 win over its crosstown rival Cheyenne East.

"You take a hit like that and it wakes you up, for sure," Shumway said. "It was something where, not only did that get me going a bit, but we needed to show (them) that's what's up. We needed to make it so that others know what we are about."

Coming off a first-round bye and facing a team that had just played an emotional, and tightly contested win-or-go-home game was never going to be an easy task for the Indians. On top of that, they were facing a crosstown rival in their home stadium.

Coming into the game, Shumway said the team wanted to make sure they let East know they were there.

The message was received.

"It was multiple things. It's a crosstown game, you're not playing at home, and it's the first game of the postseason," Indians coach Dirk Dijkstal said. "Lots of things could go haywire, and it didn't. The kids settled in well and quickly, so I loved it.

"It was a 9/10 game (for us)."

Central came up with two high-danger scoring chances in the opening 18 minutes of play, but neither were able to find the back of the net. In the 19th, Samuel Lucas Smith fed a pass to Roscoe Cone-LeBeaumont off the side of the net, and he beat East keeper Jaxon Miller for the 1-0 lead.

The Indians pressed hard following the goal, generating a total of six shots on goal in the first 25 minutes. They also had two attempts narrowly miss the net.

East struggled to generate any consistent pressure on the offensive end. Central's tight defense, coupled with a bit of a layover from the Thunderbirds' emotional 1-0 win over Laramie on Thursday, led to a slow start.

"It's tough to play a game after you go into overtime, have a high like that and then you have to play your rival," East coach Alex Stratton said.

"We just didn't seem like we found the game today. We were a little slow on the ball, or it got away from us a bit."

In spite of its woes on the offensive end, East managed to keep the score at 1-0 entering halftime, thanks to quality saves by Miller following Central's goal. The T-Birds used some of that momentum coming out of the break, generating the first three shots on goal in the half.

Thanks to some key saves by sophomore keeper Leo Somerset, Central survived the early barrage. In the 54th minute, Shumway notched his first goal off the game, winning a battle in front of the net off a free kick and going bar-down on Miller to give Central a 2-0 lead.

Shumway added a second goal in the 71st to put the game out of reach for good, just three minutes after taking a massive hit at midfield. With 97 seconds to go, he completed the hat trick on a penalty kick.

"These guys have been playing together for a long time, so he might have taken that one (a little personally)," Dijkstal said with a laugh.

Central will play Sheridan at 4 p.m. Saturday to decide the No. 1 seed for next week's 4A state tournament in Rock Springs. The Broncs were the only team to beat Central during the regular season, and a shot at redemption is on the team's mind.

"Our team is a team that loves competition and thrives in it," Shumway said. "The last time we played them, it was a bit of a rough game. We know that, and we have addressed that, and I think we are a changed team because of it."

East will play Thunder Basin at noon, with a shot at taking the East's No. 3 seed into the state tournament. For Stratton, coming away with a win comes down to staying relevant to who they are and not getting away from their values and goals.


Halftime: Central 1-0.

Goals: Central, Cone-LeBeaumont (Smith), 19, Central, Shumway (unassisted), 54, Central, Shumway (unassisted), 71, Central, Shumway (penalty kick), 79.

Shots: Central 18, East 5. Shots on goal: Central 12, East 4. Saves: Central 4 (Somerset), East 8 (Miller).

Corner kicks: East 4, Central 2. Offsides: Central 3, East 0. Fouls: East 6, Central 5. Yellow cards: Central 1 (Black, 70) East 1 (Pena, 67).

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