Soccer team earns respect with respect

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"R-E-S-P-E-C-T."

Aretha Franklin's song could have been the theme to the Moffat County girls soccer team's approach to its second game of the season against Delta County Saturday.

After a 5-1 loss in the first game, the Bull-dogs gave the team that finished last in the Western Slope League the previous two seasons some respect when they stepped on the pitch. The changed attitude resulted in a 2-2 tie.

"We took them a little lightly the first time," coach Jim Loughran said. "The second time we were ready for a good team, and we played much better."

The teams traded goals in both halves. Delta County scored first, and Bulldog sophomore Ashleigh Mann answered in the opening half.

In the second half, Delta County's Stephanie Spor showed why she was one of the top scorers in the state.

She added her second goal of the game 20 minutes into the second half.

Goals 17 and 18 for the season moved Spor ahead of Steamboat Springs' Kelly Labor as the WSL's leading scorer.

"I thought we did a good job in the middle of the field," Loughran said. "(Spor) had two goals, but I thought we shut her down."

Moffat County senior Lorena Rodriguez tied it up in the 70th minute.

Both teams had chances to pull ahead.

Delta missed a penalty kick in the first half, and Loughran said one of his team's kicks in the second half went past DC's keeper but just missed the net.

"We continue to advance offensively," Loughran said. "I played 16 girls because it was hot, and it helped."

With two wins and one tie, the Bulldogs are tied with last year's point total.

They need one more win or tie to tally the best record for a Bulldog team in WSL play.

They have three games remaining, with two this week against 9-1 Battle Mountain and one next week against 2-9 Eagle Valley.

The final game of the season against Eagle Valley is next Tuesday.

"We have a good chance against both teams," Loughran said. "We have to take care of the ball and make good decisions."

The Bulldogs host Battle Mountain at 4 p.m. Tuesday at the Woodbury Fields.

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