Box score from the Moffat County High School girls varsity soccer team’s game Tuesday against Delta High School at Woodbury Sports Complex:
(Team — 1st half — 2nd half — final)
• Moffat County — 0 — 2 — 2
• Delta — 2 — 2 — 4
— MCHS’ record for the season is 2-10, 1-8 in WSL
• No goals by MCHS
• 3:46 — Kelly Ciesco
• 8:22 — Tori Snyder
If you polled Moffat County High School athletes about which opposing team is their most detested rival, most of them would say Steamboat Springs.
For MCHS senior Kelly Ciesco, the answer is Delta, who she hoped to defeat in the final opportunity of her high school career.
The MCHS girls varsity soccer team fell just short of that goal, losing, 4-2, to Delta Tuesday at Woodbury Sports Complex.
The defeat dropped the Bulldogs to 2-10 overall, 1-8 in the Western Slope League.
Delta (4-7-1, 3-6) dominated in the first half, scoring one goal immediately with another soon after.
Down 2-0, MCHS struggled to maintain energy, resulting in little ball movement, which in turn allowed the Panthers to swarm the ball before the Bulldogs got the chance to advance it.
“We didn’t connect on our passes and when we kept possession, we kept it too long,” coach Harry Tripp said.
The Bulldogs struggled to make any leeway against Delta’s aggressive defensive coverage in the first half, but Tripp’s halftime pep talk gave them a second wind.
“This second half is ours,” he said. “We’ve got to win this one, and I know you guys can do it.”
The words were almost prophetic.
As the second half kicked off, Ciesco came at the Delta goal hard and scored. Junior Tori Snyder repeated the attack minutes later, tying the score at 2-2.
What happened from there was a constant battle for the ball, as the Bulldogs and Panthers both increased defensive pressure.
Delta’s goaltender wasn’t shy about making contact with MCHS players in her effort to block shots.
Across the field Bulldog goalie Skylar Tripp was overtaken by the Panthers. Delta nearly was penalized for making contact with Skylar after she touched the ball.
“She already had her hand on it and they’re not supposed to be able to touch her after that,” Harry said. “It looked like they almost kicked her in the head, but she’s fine.”
Delta’s press paid off, as they managed to weaken the MCHS defense and score two more goals, while MCHS failed to score again.
“We were doing great, but then I think we just started being lazy toward the ball,” Ciesco said.
Ciesco, who only a week ago scored four goals in one game against Rifle, said she was saddened to have missed the chance to win against the Panthers, who have always managed to get under her skin every year more than any other team.
“It was a goal of mine to beat them,” she said. “It’s almost like a personal thing.”
With her high school career almost at an end, Ciesco said she wants to concentrate on playing strong in the remaining three games, starting with one against Eagle Valley (0-11, 0-9) Thursday afternoon at home.
Having beaten Eagle Valley this season, the team hopes for another victory.
“We beat them last time in overtime and I think we’ve improved a lot since then, so I think we’ll definitely beat them this time,” Snyder said. “I think we can step it up and win a couple more games if we work on passing and communication.”
Click here to have the print version of the Craig Daily Press delivered to your home.