RIVERTON — Trailing by two goals in the 50th minute, a season-opening victory seemed to be a tall order for the Riverton girls soccer team.
Up against the talented Jordan Beetdiggers, the Silverwolves struggled to find solid scoring opportunities. The defense was kept busy, passes failed to reach desired destinations, and energy seemed in short supply.
But as the final whistle blew, it would be the Silverwolves celebrating a miraculous 5-2 victory, thanks to an incredible offensive surge in the final 30 minutes.
"The girls started doing what they should have been doing all along," said Riverton head coach Paul Mozier.
They worked the ball around and sent it through to the speedy forwards up front. The result? Four different scorers and five goals in twenty-three minutes.
Sophomore forward Kirsten Spencer was first to break away, sneaking one past Jordan goalkeeper Mckayla Johnstone despite her diving efforts and near save. The goal cut the deficit to one with 22 minutes remaining. Six minutes later, junior forward Alexis Jackson utilized a burst of speed to outmaneuver her defender and bury a game-tying goal of her own.
With the equalizer, the Silverwolves gained the momentum and ran away with the game.
Jordan head coach Sara Cowley noted the change in the Beetdiggers' morale.
"After that first goal, we never regrouped and got back as a unit," she said. "We got away from the game plan."
With Jordan on its heels, Riverton attacked mercilessly. UCLA-bound senior Darian Jenkins displayed unmatched speed and fancy footwork to score two of the final three goals. Assisted by senior Sam Seegmiller and junior Mallory Bostic, Jenkins scored in the 67th minute and 77th minute.
Bostic, an invaluable leader and talented forward, earned a breakaway opportunity in the 74th minute, pointing to where she wanted to receive the ball from Jenkins and outracing her defender to complete the play.
Bostic is highly optimistic about the slew of experienced players making up the 2012 roster and is confident in Riverton's ability to succeed.
"We improve every year," she said, noting the team's improvement since last year. "This is my favorite season in high school so far."
The roster boasts depth and talent, and according to Mozier, the Silver Wolves are solid at every position. The fullbacks played a crucial role in the victory, despite the early Jordan lead. Hailey Skolmoski was one of those vital defensive contributors, helping to keep Riverton afloat until the offensive picked up.1 comment on this story
Jordan's Amanda Durrant scored the first goal of the game, corralling a rebound off the post and finding the net for the 1-0 advantage. Tori Smith was the second Beetdigger to score, sweeping it up the left side and extending the lead, 2-0, before the breakdown.
"We weren't mentally prepared for a full 80-minutes," Cowley said. "It was a tale of two halves. Fatigue played a part ... We were tired. We will use it (the loss) for what preseason is for; building on the good, learning from the bad."