Coming into the season Jackson Hole High School boys soccer coach Matt Hoelscher wasn’t sure who on his team could be called on to put the ball in the back of the net.
Despite settling for a one-tie, one-loss trip to Casper last week, the Broncs found some goal scorers.
It began against Natrona, a game that went to overtime before ending in a 4-4 draw. The back-and-forth game had the Broncs up 2-1 before letting through the tying goal. Jackson then suffered a red card, knocking the team to 10 players on the field.
The Broncs made it a 3-2 game and looked well on their way to the first win of the season when Natrona managed a score with less than a minute to play.
The trading of goals continued in overtime, with Jackson striking first before Natrona again found the equalizer with time winding down.
Jackson had three players score, with freshman Hunter Dewell scoring twice and Jorge Meneses and Charlie Hoelscher notching goals.
“We were very positive after that game; it was a fun game to be involved in,” Matt Hoelscher said. “I feel like everyone felt like we let one get away from us, to put four goals in and go down a man and still score two goals with just 10 guys.”
The next day Kelly Walsh proved a taller task. The Trojans took a 3-1 victory to put the Broncs at 0-2-1 on the season.
Still, with the program having moved up to 4A just two seasons ago, Hoelscher said parity across the classification was apparent this season. For instance, Kelly Walsh has yet to suffer a setback, but four of its six wins this year have come by just one goal.
“Any given day, any team can win, and that makes for an exciting season,” Hoelscher said.
Jackson will have its first crack at home games this week. The Broncs hosted Green River on Tuesday, after press time. They’ll take on Rock Springs at 4 p.m. Thursday. Rock Springs brings a 3-2 record into the week, with one of those losses coming at the hands of 2-1 Green River.
The draw against Natrona was a positive push as Jackson looks to score its first win this week. But for a team that has its eyes on returning to the top of the state bracket, and an expectation of being competitive in every game this year, settling for ties isn’t going to cut it.
“We need to do better than survive,” Hoelscher said. “We still need to learn how to win, we’re still looking for that first win, and we’re hungry for that.”