The last 10 minutes of the Moffat County High School girls soccer game against Aspen wasn't easy for anybody in blue to watch as the Skiers poured on shot after shot.
But the Bulldogs were able to keep the ball out of their net and before fans had time to catch their breath from the exasperating end to regulation, the home team scored in overtime to end the excitement at 3-2.
"We were really struggling the last minutes of the game and we just hung on," Moffat County coach Lori Smith said. "We were in good shape before spring break but we lost it and you could tell our conditioning was poor at the end."
The Skiers had three shots on goal in the second half until the last five minutes. Then freshman goalie Heather Brown had to endure eight shots in the last 10 minutes of a 2-2 tie. The Skiers shot over, beside, into but not past Brown in the closing minutes of the half.
"Heather made some big saves that really saved us," Smith said.
In addition to Brown's play, Smith was thankful for timing in the game.
"We really needed that break after regulation to catch our breath," she said. "Then a quick goal in overtime was great timing."
Two minutes into overtime senior Bulldog Stephanie Braselton broke through the Skiers' defense at midfield, took a pass and touched it into the net.
"We talked about scoring quickly after regulation," Braselton said. "I had missed one goal from an offside call and I hardly ever get called offsides."
Braselton could have tied the game at, 2-2, 18 minutes into the second half when she chased down a ball that had bounced past the Aspen goalie. She caught up to the runaway ball but didn't have enough on her kick so teammate freshman Ashleigh Mann helped it into the goal. Mann was called offsides so the goal didn't count and the Skiers kept a 2-1 lead.
Mann came back and got her goal seven minutes later to tie the game.
Then the Bulldogs spent seven minutes coming as close as they could to scoring a goal without getting the ball in the net.
"I think there was a lot of adrenaline with it being our first game," Smith said. "That led to a couple of missed kicks. Hopefully when they slow down that will get better."
For a majority of the game the Bulldogs controlled the ball. Aspen's two goals came off quick counters after a Moffat County turnover.
"We worked on possession all week and I was happy with the way we controlled the ball," Smith said. "Right now we are focusing too hard on one aspect of the game each time and not switching from offense to defense quick enough."
The Bulldogs (1-0) have one practice to work on what they saw against Aspen before they start Western Slope League play. The Bulldogs are scheduled to open at 1:30 p.m. against Steamboat Springs (2-0) in Steamboat. It is possible the game will be changed to Craig is Steamboat gets the snow it is forecasted to receive.
"We have a tough schedule starting Saturday with three games a week," Smith said.
"This was a good start for us," Braselton said, who also scored the Bulldogs' first goal at 26:39 into the first half. "I think the team looked good for our first game."
David Pressgrove can be reached at 970-824- 7031 ext. 211 or firstname.lastname@example.org