After qualifying for the state tournament, the Laramie Lady Plainsmen picked up a key win at the regional tournament in shootout fashion last Saturday.

Laramie (8-8) improved their seeding for the state tournament that starts Thursday in Jackson with a 2-1 victory over Cheyenne East in the third-place match at the 4A East Regional Championships in Laramie.

Their 3-2 win over Sheridan last Thursday got them into the state tournament, and head coach Raquel Clark said it was great for the team.

“We were really looking forward to that first game at state. The girls’ deserved it for all their hard work during the season, and, yeah, to get that out of the way took a lot of pressure off, and I think gave the girls a lot of confidence and just a positive mentality boost.”

The Lady Plainsmen then lost their regional semifinal to top-seed Cheyenne Central, 4-0, last Friday. That put them in the third-place match at the regional tournament, where they defeated Cheyenne East for the first time this season.

The match went scoreless through regulation. Cheyenne East scored first in overtime, but late in the second half of OT, Kaitlyn Hoberg found the back of the net, which forced a shootout.

That’s where Kelcey Anderson became a hero.

After shootout goals from Samantha Turpen, Hobery, and Macie Carlson, Anderson entered her round with a chance to win it. The senior found the net, and LHS won the shootout, 4-3. The match goes down as a final of 2-1.

Laramie had played Cheyenne East tough in the regular season with a pair of 1-0 losses, but got a key win according to coach Clark, to improve their seed for state.

“It’s really big. PK’s (penalty kicks) are something we work on all season long. To get to this point, since I played, there’s always shootouts, and it’s a big part of the postseason. So, just the girls’ confidence with the PK’s, and being able to beat out East, who we’ve played close all year long, was something that they’re going to take into state with some extra confidence.

No rest for the weary. The Lady Plainsmen get an early wake-up call Thursday, as they play Kelly Walsh, the second seed from the West Region, at 9 a.m. in Jackson.