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CHEYENNE – Laramie didn’t let its first-half opportunities go to waste Saturday afternoon.

After registering 12 total shots and eight shots on goal in the first half, the Lady Plainsmen didn’t tally any in the second half. Regardless, they took advantage of what they were given and came away with a 2-0 win over Cheyenne South.

“We really wanted to win that coin toss,” Laramie coach Justine Tydings said. “Taking advantage of the ball was a main point of emphasis in this wind, and then obviously putting those shots on frame added to those opportunities, as well.”

Laramie’s first score came in the 13th minute when a Kierra Osborne through-ball connected with Chloe Whisenant in the middle of the pitch where Whisenant took a couple dribbles and netted it, giving the Plainsmen a 1-0 advantage. The shots continued to mount from Laramie with an Alexia Lucero attempt barely clearing the top crossbar just over a minute later.

In the 19th, Allison Beeston made it 2-0 when she sent a rebounded ball past South goalkeeper Sarah Keefe with a header.

“It’s good that we capitalized on those goals and those chances when we had them,” Beeston said. “I knew I just had to follow that shot. I mean, you need to follow every shot, so I knew I just needed to get in there and get something on it.”

South responded by putting together some passes and pushed the ball downfield to find its first shot of the match – a strike from Savannah Kohlhagen on the right side of the frame that was stopped by Laramie goalie McKenna Barham. It was the most momentum the Bison saw from their attack from the first half, as most upfield passes died in the wind.

Keefe was injured after colliding with Lucero – who was given a yellow card – in the 27th minute and was briefly replaced by Emma Cortez. Cortez made back-to-back saves in goal during her stint. Laramie saw two more opportunities in the 38th on consecutive corner kicks, but the South defense and Keefe didn’t let anything through.

“(Laramie) got the ball with the wind in the first half and they were able to capitalize on a couple of those long balls from some set pieces,” South coach Brandon McHenry said. “We did some good things defensively, just couldn’t find the back of the net.”

With the wind at their back, the Lady Bison had a handful of shots that just cleared the frame in the second half. They maintained possession on their side of the field for most of the half and had three shots on goal in the first 13 minutes of the half, but couldn’t squeeze any past Barham.

“We were able to get out, we played through the middle like we wanted to play, we held possession, and played to feet,” McHenry said. “We just couldn’t get anything in the second half.”

Cheyenne Kohlhagan had two opportunities late in the second half to get South on the board. Her first was a direct kick from 22 yards out the looked as if it was going to make it into the top right corner of the netting, but was knocked away. The second was in the 74th when another free kick – this one from 35 yards out – rang off the top crossbar.

South finished with five shots on goal and four corner kicks in the second half.

“The big thing at halftime was keeping the ball in front, so they were chasing going back toward our goal a ton which limited their opportunities for direct shots on goal,” Tydings said. “It did give them a couple more corner kicks than we liked … but, overall (defense) stay connected as a unit and overcame the wind adversity today.”

LARAMIE 2, SOUTH 0

Halftime: 2-0

Goals: Laramie, Whisenant (Osborne), 13. Laramie, Beeston (unassisted), 19.

Shots: Laramie 4, South 7. Shots on goal: Laramie 8, South 6. Saves: Laramie 6 (Barham); South 6 (Keefe 4, Cortez 2).

Corner kicks: Laramie 4, South 6. Offsides: Laramie 5, South 1. Fouls: Laramie 3, South 3. Yellow cards: Laramie 1 (Lucero, 27). South 1 (Cortez, 41).

Robert Munoz is a writer for WyoSports. He can be reached at rmunoz@wyosports.net. Follow him on Twitter @rmunoz307.

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