Coal Ridge breezes past Moffat County soccer, 3-1
How much can coming straight out of a weeklong break affect athletes? At Moffat County High School on Tuesday afternoon, the answer was blowin’ in the wind.
The MCHS girls varsity soccer team lost, 3-1, to Coal Ridge during a home game that left the Bulldogs 3-3 overall and 1-1 in the 3A Western Slope League.
Moffat County’s girls, fresh from their spring break, looked energetic as the game began, and they were the first to score as Delaney Baker charged toward the goal in her typical style to find some net.
The New Castle visitors started to up their offensive tactics after that, as Jenny Call got one past Bulldog goalie Hannah Walker. Though MCHS had the wind at their backs in the first half, the Titans maintained greater possession.
Walker snatched away most of their up-close attempts, but it was a long, lofty shot from Santana Martinez that looked like it had no chance that barely evaded the Moffat County keeper’s fingertips, dropping right in front of Molly Mello, who put it in to make it 2-1 heading into halftime.
The Bulldogs put up a fight as they embarked on the second half, Coal Ridge’s Call quick to take another goal. Following that was a lengthy kick-around as both teams were beset by the blustery weather, every remaining shot soaring above or to the side of its target when Walker or Titan goalie Shelby Koether didn’t get their hands on it, Walker taking 18 total saves and Coal Ridge four.
Overall, the Bulldogs had the slight advantage on shooting, with 15 shots on goal to the Titans’ 13.
Coach Harry Tripp congratulated the team for “leaving it all on the field” but noted that passing and shooting didn’t look right, partly due to the conditions.
“We need to clean up those things,” he said.
Between the field’s climate and the quality of the team hosting, Coal Ridge coach Micah Herron said it was a hard-fought win to improve to 5-2 overall, 3-0 WSL.
“It’s a tough place to come play,” Herron said. “We like to play wide, but that wasn’t really working out for us today. They still gutted it out.”
Coal Ridge will host Grand Valley Thursday, the same day Moffat County will be in Basalt Thursday afternoon before returning home to meet 5A Grand Junction team Central on Friday. The Bulldogs hosted the Longhorns earlier in the season, winning 4-2.
“I think if we get our confidence up Thursday, we can hold our own against Central,” Tripp said.
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