'We finally did it'

MCHS girls soccer team wins its first conference game in its history

After Jennifer Wiersma kicked Cassie Owens' pass into the goal, Owens ran up and hugged Wiesrma and said, "We finally did it."

The two seniors had played on the same side for two seasons, and it was the first time the two had connected for a goal.

"We finally did it," was a sentiment that could have described the overall feeling Saturday for the Moffat County High School girls soccer team as they defeated Cedaredge, 5-0. The victory was the first conference win in the history of the MCHS girls soccer program.

"It's nice to be on the team that was able to get that win," Owens said. "For me, it was my first ever assist so that was nice, too."

The Bulldogs took an early lead with a goal by Stephanie Braselton at 5:06 and never looked back. Goals by Jessica Ueker, Wiersma and Maggie Blackstun right before the half gave the blue and white a sizeable 4-0 lead at half.

"We didn't come out and play ready against Battle Mountain," Owens said. "Against Cedaredge, we prepared for them to be a good team so we were ready."

Braselton added her second goal 10 minutes into the second half and Moffat County was able to enjoy a rare luxury the rest of the game -- the opportunity to play everybody and to try them at different positions.

"Their spirits were so high in the second half," said coach Carla Bamford. "I was able to take advantage of our depth and get a lot of girls playing time the second half."

In a game that started with temperatures in the 60s, then cooled off to the 30s with snow and then cleared up again, the Bulldogs didn't become distracted.

"When it started snowing, they were telling the referee that he couldn't cancel the game," Bamford said. "Even in the snow they stayed focused and played well."

Not only did the win establish the first conference victory in school history, it is also the only two-win season in at least four years. At the same time, the second win came against a first-year program.

"We know where they are coming from," said Owens about Cedaredge. "It has taken us a long time to build up a program that is able to win. So we weren't about to rub in the win because we know how they feel."

Cedaredge has yet to score a goal in a conference game, something that the Bulldogs can relate to from the past. Saturday showed Moffat County has now advanced its program past "beginner" status.

"We played well and won a lot of the balls," Bamford said. "It

showed our experience compared

to their team."

The Bulldogs will have a chance to prove themselves more in the next two weeks with games against conference leaders Glenwood Springs and Rifle on Monday and Tuesday, respectively. They also will play Roaring Fork on Thursday and Battle Mountain on Saturday.

"This will be an important stretch for us," Bamford said. "I think they're ready to play well."

David Pressgrove can be reached at 824-7031 or dpressgrove@craigdailypress.com

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