Delta gets first WSL win

Bulldos come up short, lose 3-1

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Most members of the Moffat County High School girls soccer know the feeling of the history-making victory. Just last year the team won its first Western Slope League game.

Tuesday the Bulldogs were on the losing side of history.

The Delta County soccer team, in its second year of existence, beat the Bulldogs 3-1 at Woodbury Field in Craig for its first WSL win.

"We came in confident for this game," said Delta coach Julie Mottern. "We played a good Battle Mountain team to a 1-0 game this weekend so we have been getting better."

Delta County scored the only goal in the first half with a shot from senior Brandi Dunham. Delta was used to having leads disappear so the halftime talk focused on not letting another one go.

"We've had three games where we had a lead and lost them," Mottern said. "I just wanted to emphasize that we hold on."

Moffat County coach Lori Smith was worried before the game because she could sense some overconfidence.

"They weren't focused and it was almost like they thought they already had the game," she said. "We're not at the level yet where we can just show up and beat somebody."

What made the game even more of a struggle for the Bulldogs was that midfielder Jessica Uecker strained a hamstring early in the first half. She stayed in but her normal presence around every loose ball wasn't there.

"Jessica makes our team what it is at times and without her you could see us struggle in the middle," Smith said. "Not to take anything away from Delta because they played well, but without Jessica at full strength we were vulnerable."

Bernadette Alvarez made it, 2-0, 22 minutes into the second half when she lofted a shot over Moffat County's Heather Brown.

The Bulldogs weren't done though, as Ashleigh Mann scored three minutes after Alvarez's goal. Mann has now scored in four straight games for the Bulldogs.

With the score 2-1 Moffat County kept the attack on, missing five close shots on goal in the next 15 minutes. With time running down, the Bulldogs' defense had a breakdown and an uncovered Stacey Ball put the final exclamation point on Delta County's first win with a rifle shot into the net.

"We have five seniors who didn't want to go away winless," Mottern said. "We've become a competitive program and this was a great win."

As the game finished one of the Delta County players yelled "this is how it feels to win ladies," something the Bulldogs learned of just last year.

"This loss is going to be hard on us and make it hard to prepare for Battle Mountain," Smith said. "I hope we can do it in one day."

The Bulldogs will finish out the season at Battle Mountain Thursday. A victory would tie the Bulldogs for the teams' best record ever at 3-8-1 in the league and 4-8-1 overall.

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