The Moffat County High School varsity soccer team held its own Saturday at the Dirty Bird Classic in Aurora, Colo., but the Bulldogs were on the short end of the stick.
In the first game of the day, the Denver West Cowboys downed the Bulldogs, 5-2. In the second game, the Hinkley Thurderbirds outlasted the Bulldogs, 6-3, and in the final contest of the afternoon the Sterling Tigers beat the Bulldogs, 4-2.
MCHS saw its record drop to 1-8 on the year.
"I thought that we improved a lot and we all worked together pretty good," said senior Justin Girardot. "We scored a lot of goals and I think the tournament that we played in will give us some motivation for these upcoming games."
Against the Cowboys, the Bulldogs earned goals from Isidro Quezada and Chris Herrod.
"In the first game we were a little timid at first playing against Denver West," said coach Eric Johnson. "Once we got the jitters out of the way we played a good game. It was a great experience playing all these bigger schools."
In the second game, MCHS put the ball in the net three times and Justin Craig, Alex Johnson and Robert Bamford each had a goal.
"Hinkley was a real physical game and that is good for us," said Johnson. "In that game our offense was generating shots and we were moving the ball up the field."
In the final game of the day, the Bulldogs saw Bamford and Quezada each score one goal.
"When we played Sterling we were a little run down," said Johnson. "In a way that was good because we passed the ball more than we dribbled. We went to an offensive front all weekend and it worked really well."
Girardot said having three games in a day is tough.
"Playing three games right after another was pretty tiring," said Girardot. "After the second game I was hurting pretty bad and all of us were tired. In in the final game, we went all out and played pretty hard."
For the first time this year, the Bulldogs started Brandon Duarte at the goalkeeper spot and Johnson said he improved each game out.
"Brandon had a great learning experience," said Johnson. "Tony Bohrer, our regular goalie, played in the back and he worked with him all three games. The more Tony worked with him the better Brandon did."
Bohrer was playing with an injured hand.
The Bulldogs will return to action on the road at 5 p.m. Thursday when they battle Rifle in a key conference matchup.
"We are concentrating on Rifle right now," said Johnson. "When we play Rifle it is a must-win game for us. I think as long as we go in there and have fun we will be all right."