In 560 minutes of play, the Thunder Basin High School boys soccer team hasn’t given up a goal.
In the team’s 7-0 start to the season, the Bolts have outscored opponents 31-0. Since the school opened in 2017, Thunder Basin has a combined record of 45-3-2, including its seven wins so far this year.
The domination on the field make it fun to watch for the players, coaches and fans of Thunder Basin soccer. But it’s also a relief to watch for starting goaltender Seth Stevens.
In Friday night’s 11-0 win over Cheyenne South, Stevens doesn’t think he touched the ball once in the second half.
“It’s been so easy the last couple of games,” Stevens said. “The defensive front is just super incredible. They shut down everything that gets in front of me. It’s good to know that our team is doing so well that I don’t really even need to be there.”
Sergio Pelayo, a center defensive midfielder, said it’s rewarding to see all the team’s hard work in practice paying off come game time.
“Our coach does a great job with our defense and working with us every single practice,” Pelayo said. “I guess just working that hard pays off in games.”
Thunder Basin’s suffocating defense has led to plenty of offensive opportunities. The Bolts like to spread the ball around and get everybody touches on the field, Pelayo said.
A lot of the team’s chemistry comes from playing together for so long. Most have been playing together since U8 or U10 youth soccer, Pelayo said.
“We know each other and we have good passing and stuff like that,” Pelayo said. “Practice makes perfect.”
In the school’s four-year existence, the boys soccer program has never won a state title.
In the program’s first season in 2018, the Bolts won the consolation bracket after a first-round loss to Natrona County in the state playoffs. The next year, Thunder Basin finished as the state runner-up after losing 1-0 to Jackson in the championship game.
Last year’s season was canceled because of COVID-19.
To get over the hump and bring the title home to Gillette, the Bolts will need to keep doing exactly what they’ve been doing so far this season, Stevens said.
“Our defensive front has just about shut down anything any team has thrown at us,” Stevens said. “It’s going to be super important to keep that up going forward, especially at state. Holding the goals to a minimum and giving more opportunities to our offense to go out there and score to win the games that we need to.”
Already halfway through the season, the Bolts will have seven more conference games to prepare for the regional and state tournaments next month. If the first half of the season is any indication of how the playoffs will go, Thunder Basin will be up there with one of the favorites to bring the title home for the first time in program history.
“The most important thing is to just keep on winning games,” said TBHS senior Damian Myers. “We know that we are a threat. ... We just need to continue to win those big games.”