TORRINGTON – The Torrington Trailblazers tied for the top spot in the conference last year but a coin flip sent them to the qualifying round. Torrington hopes to not allow a coin to decide their fate this season.
Torrington started last year hot, beginning the year 6-0 with multiple-goal wins over Rawlins, Gering, Neb., Douglas and Newcastle. The win over Rawlins was Torrington’s first conference win of the year and Torrington also secured a 1-0 win over Lander, putting their conference record at 2-0. A 2-2 stint in Worland put the Blazers at 8-2. Torrington rattled off five-straight wins to push their record to 13-2, including two wins over Scottsbluff, Neb.
Lander got their revenge against Torrington by snapping the Blazers’ streak in a 2-1 decision, giving Torrington its first conference loss. The Blazers closed out the regular season with a 3-0 win over Rawlins to finish with a 3-1 record against conference opponents, which was the same mark as Lander.
Looking at the tiebreakers, the Blazers and Tigers split their regular season games. The two schools did not visit a common opponent or host a common opponent, which is another tiebreaker. Both teams allowed two goals against conference opponents, which is another tiebreaker. In the end, a coin flip sent the Blazers to the qualifier round where they had to play for their spot in the state tournament.
The Blazers went on to beat Pinedale in the qualifiers, punching their ticket for the state tournament. Torrington picked up two wins to start the tournament by beating Worland 2-1 in extra time and besting Buffalo 3-0, sending the Blazers to the championship game. Torrington fought against Cody for the whole game, but lost 1-0 to finish as the state runner-up, which is the best finish in program history.
Torrington, as well as every other team in the state, has a fresh slate this spring. If the Blazers want to make another run at a state title, handling business against conference opponents to lock up a top seed for the tournament would be a good place to start.
The Blazers begin this season with a road game Thursday against Douglas, who went 5-12-1 last year. A season ago, Torrington beat Douglas twice, winning 4-0 on the road and defending their home field 5-1.