Girls soccer team grabs first victory

Brandy Sherwood was elated with the goal she nudged past the Middle Park High School goalie it was the first time the Lady 'Dogs soccer team had the lead in a game.

The junior forward's lob goal 16 minutes into the game wasn't the last of the Lady 'Dogs' scoring effort seen Monday afternoon against the Middle Park Panthers. The Moffat County High School girls soccer team would roll four more past the Panthers' keeper to a 5-1 victory.

It was the first Lady 'Dogs win in more than four years and the first in coach Tom St. Louis's varsity career.

"We had a small taste of success when we scored at Battle Mountain but we had a taste of what it was like to win today," St. Louis said.

Relying on a spread offense and looking to outside passing, Moffat County controlled the Panthers' half of the field nearly the entire game, with Middle Park breaking across into the Lady 'Dogs' half only a handful of times. Most Panther attacks were thwarted at the mid-field by two juniors, midfielder Jenna Beckerman and defensman Nicole Vorhies, who kept a hungry Lady 'Dogs offense well fed with stolen balls.

The strong mid-field defense made it possible for four different Lady 'Dogs to score. Senior Katie Telfer, sophomore Stephanie Braselton, junior Jennifer Wiersma and Sherwood all scored, with Braselton finding the net twice.

Braselton scored once in the first half when she deflected a shot from the goalie into the net and once in the second when she sneaked one in a tight corner past the keeper.

"We are just starting to work as a team," Wiersma said. "We were talking, connecting on our passes and scoring goals."

The soccer program at Grandby's Middle Park (0-2) is in its second year. The Panthers' coach, Berry Wergin, said he was proud of how his girls stood up to the barrage of Moffat County goals and that they are still young and learning.

"This was our C-squad we brought today, since we're not allowed to run a varsity program yet," Wergin said.

Wergin said the junior varsity was unable to travel because they already had too many games scheduled and he wanted to give his younger girls more experience.

No matter the team or the age level of the Panthers' players, the Lady 'Dogs were elated with their win, which was obvious from the grins plastered on their faces once the final whistle blew. The win also bolsters the momentum St. Louis believes his team is building in the season and came at the right time. The win, in his opinion, is a stepping stone to more Moffat County success.

"We're gaining experience every time we play and we're getting better," St. Louis said. "Today was just one of many opportunities we've had and we took advantage of it.

"We just need to keep taking advantage of the opportunities when they arise."

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