Blazers snag bronze at state soccer tourney

Robert Galbreath
Posted 5/21/24

The Torrington High School Blazers battled back from a setback to garner third place at the state soccer tournament.

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Blazers snag bronze at state soccer tourney


GREEN RIVER – The Torrington High School Blazers refused to let a setback prevent them from garnering hardware at the 2024 State Soccer Championships in Green River on May 16-18.

Digging deep, the Blazers battled back from a heartbreaking 2-1 loss against Green River in the semifinals on Friday to defeat Lander, 1-0, on Saturday and capture third place at the tournament.

Torrington opened state with a 4-1 victory against Powell in the quarterfinals.

The Blazer’s triumph against Lander concluded an exceptional season on a high note. Overall, Torrington netted 15 wins throughout the season and posted a nearly undefeated 9-1 conference record to enter the state tournament as the No. 1 seed in the 3A east conference.

Torrington defeated each of its conference opponents at least once, including arch-rival Worland. On April 12, the Blazers shattered Worland’s longstanding 3A winning streak with an epic 3-2 overtime shootout victory against the Warriors.


Torrington won the first half against Powell, 1-0. The Blazer offense struck relentlessly with attacks into Powell’s territory, including shots on goal by junior Skyler Thomas and sophomore Anthony Arnusch.

Taking possession, junior Elijah Hatch deftly maneuvered the ball around Powell’s defenders to score Torrington’s first goal.

The Blazer offense maintained its pressure throughout the remainder of the first half. On defense, junior Kaiden Riggs and sophomore Beaux Shimic cleared the backfield and midfield with powerful kicks. Junior Carter Blevins deflected a shot with a header, while goalie and fellow junior Ayden Shimic posted two saves.

Powell managed to score early in the second half and the game briefly reached a 1-1 stalemate.

Torrington promptly responded with a pair of goals netted by Arnusch. The sophomore shot in a penalty kick and scored the second goal with an assist by senior Adam Bartlett.

Riggs netted a penalty kick late in the second half to bring Torrington’s tally to four goals.

A solid Blazer defense prevented the Panthers from scoring beyond their initial goal in the second half, with clearance kicks by Blevins, Riggs and junior Nounou Braddy. Senior Greysen Shields deflected an attempted corner kick by Powell with a header.

Ayden Shimic tallied three saves in the second half.

Green River

The Blazer defense kept Green River on its toes for the first 13 minutes of regulation. In the backfield, Shields prevented shots by Green River with a header and a clearance kick. Defensive hustle by Bartlett and Beaux Shimic kept the midfield clear.

Green River broke through Torrington’s defense with 26 minutes remaining in the first half to take control of the scoreboard, 1-0, at halftime.

The Blazer offense turned the tables in the second half with repeated strikes into Green River’s zone. Torrington attacked early with a pair of shots on goal by Bartlett.

Hatch found himself in possession and drove the ball from midfield deep into Green River’s territory to score a goal for Torrington, tying the game, 1-1.

The deadlock continued through the end of regulation and into the first overtime period. Unfortunately, Green River scored midway into the second overtime period to prevail.


An intense first half between Torrington and Lander resulted in a 0-0 stalemate. On offense, Thomas and Arnusch each made a shot on goal. Defensively, Riggs prevented a shot by Lander with a header and Beaux Shimic delivered a powerful clearance kick near midfield.

Ayden Shimic posted four saves in the first half.

The Torrington offense took control of the scoreboard in the second half when Hatch shot a goal into the net, assisted by Bartlett.

The Torrington defense completely shut out Lander from scoring in the closing half, including plays by Blevins, Riggs, Shields and Thomas and a clearance kick by junior Jace Schlagel. Ayden Shimic tallied three additional saves.