State Soccer Championships

Gillette’s Kylie Hatzenbihler, left, and Grace Roswadovski embrace May 20 after the Camels defeated Laramie 4-1 in the Wyoming State High School Class 4A Girls Soccer Championship at the Big Horn Equestrian Center in Sheridan.

Blaine McCartney, Wyoming Tribune Eagle

The match was still in question, the outcome unanswered with just 10 minutes remaining.

Gillette had just countered Laramie’s equalizer to re-take the lead in the 63rd minute. But a one-goal lead wasn’t enough.

These was the defending state champions who beat them in last year’s title match, and they weren’t going to go away with just one goal.

So into the phone booth went Grace Roswadovski and out came the scoring machine that feasted on defenses all season.

Roswadovski scored in back-to-back minutes to seal the match’s fate and improve her season total to 21 as Gillette dethroned the returning state champions 4-1 at Big Horn Equestrian Center on Saturday in the 2017 Wyoming State High School Class 4A Girls Championship.

“They came back from 1-0 already,” Roswadovski said, “so we knew we had to get to the back of the net.”

She admitted that scoring the clinching goals was even more special because of her standout season.

The Camels saw her break through for multiple goals, making amazing runs and demoralizing opposing defenses throughout the season. So it was only fitting that she be the one to tally the decisive goals.

“Obviously Grace has had a very confident season,” Gillette head coach Carl Matson said. “She has done extremely well up top and has done whatever we’ve asked of her.

“She’d be the one to tell you that the rest of her team, she wouldn’t be there without them. She’s a very selfless player so for her to get those two goals at the end, it capped off a very good season for her.”

Roswadovski and the rest of the Camels saw Saturday as a moment of redemption.

The two teams met in last year’s championship and the Lady Plainsmen came out on top. Gillette entered that tournament as the East Regional champion, something they did not do this season.

Gillette was the East’s best team in the regular season, all the more impressive with every year the West goes without a state championship. Then Cheyenne Central upset the Camels in the first round of regionals.

Not ones for losing, Gillette entered the tournament with a chip on their shoulder and played like it.

“We all realized that one game can lose it all,” Roswadovski said. “I think it prepared us because we lost regionals and it turned out all right.”

Attention this year has been on the Gillette forwards and rightly so the Camels scored the second most goals in 4A this year and three separate players scored nine goals or more.

But down the stretch it was the defense that drove Gillette.

“They’re big and strong and physical,” Matson said. “They work very well together.”

For Gillette, the post-match feeling was surreal. None of the players were even in middle school when the program last won the state championship in 2011.

It was just the second time the Camels have hoisted the trophy and they’re going to savor that moment.

“It feels awesome,” Roswadovski said of being a champion. “There’s no other feeling like it in the world.”

4A Girls Championship Box Score

Gillette 4, Laramie 1

Gil 1 3 4Lar 0 1 1 Scoring: Gil, Emma Jarvis, 15 Lar, Caitlyn Cox, 60 Gil, Kylie Hatzenbihler, 63 Gil, Grace Roswadovski, 70 Gil, Grace Roswadovski, 71. Shots: Gillette 10, Laramie 7 Shots on goal: Gillette 8, Laramie 6 Saves: Gillette 5 (Alyssa Stumbaugh 5), Laramie 5 (Morgan Bury 5) Fouls: Gillette 4, Laramie 3 Corners: Gillette 4, Laramie 0 Offsides: Gillette 0, Laramie 1.

Follow sports reporter Brady Oltmans on Twitter @Brady_CST

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High School Sports Reporter

Brady Oltmans reports on high school and local sports. He joined the Star-Tribune in July 2016 after covering prep sports and college soccer in Nebraska. He also contributes to University of Wyoming sports coverage. He and his dog live in Casper.

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