Missed opportunities costly | CraigDailyPress.com

Missed opportunities costly

Moffat County junior Michelle Workman jumped in the air, clinched her fists and gritted her teeth. Her frustration festered after her wide-open shot sailed over the goal in the second half with 12 minutes to go in the game.

“I just got too nervous,” she said. “It was so there.”

So there too, was the chance for the Bulldog girls soccer team to defeat Rifle for the first time in school history Saturday at Woodbury Park.

Rifle scored with nine minutes to go in the game for a 2-1 win.

The first half looked like Moffat had a win in the bag.

The home team struck first when, seven minutes into the first half, stopper Jessica Uecker controlled a kick at midfield, dribbled through everybody and put one past goalie Rifle Kadie LaRocque.

Moffat County kept the attack on LaRocque for most of the first half, outshooting the Bears 11-2. But open shots went everywhere except in the goal for the Bulldogs.

“I thought we had a great first half,” Moffat Coach Jim Loughran said. “We came back well after the 6-0 loss to Glenwood.”

In the second half, things were different.

The game was played more at midfield, compared with the first half, when Rifle spent most of the time on defense.

Nine minutes into the second half, Rifle’s Chelsea Webb dribbled toward the goal in a one-on-one situation with Uecker. The two ran side-by-side, and both fell down 10 yards outside of the penalty box. Uecker was called for the foul to set up a free kick for Webb. She sent it over Moffat’s wall of four girls and into the left corner to tie the game, 1-1.

After the goal Rifle started to control the 50-50 balls in the second half, something it didn’t do in the first.

The Bulldog offense struggled to get past the Rifle defense during the second half. Part of that could have been because midfield starters Megan and Jenna Cook were suspended for disciplinary reasons and forwards Shaylyn Kawcak and Ashleigh Mann were moved back to midfield.

“We had to move things around but didn’t go too badly,” Workman said.

” I think we went in (to the second half) thinking we had it won.”

With nine minutes remaining in the game, a loose ball bounced toward the Moffat goal, and Bull–dog goalie Heather Brown, defender Catherine Compton and Rifle’s Keri Bornshlegel collided going for the ball.

Brown tried to recover, but Webb was trailing the play too quickly and she tapped it past the scrambling goalie for her second goal.

“I think we’re out of shape,” Loughran said. “We’re not conditioned to play two halves, and that’s what we’ll work on this week.”

The Bulldogs only managed three shots-on-goal in the second half.

The Moffat players used a little extra energy before the game. They had to shovel snow off the field to make it playable.

The game was delayed an hour for the field to be cleared.

Rifle coach Tom Taucher made sure his team was fresh.

He rotated six players in at the three striker positions throughout the game. The rested Bear strikers appeared to be in better shape the second half.

“I thought our girls came off the bench well,” Taucher said. “We came out flat, but we knew we’d play into it.”

Taucher was relieved that his girls held Moffat to one goal in the first half.

“We weren’t aggressive at all to start the game,” he said. “Moffat deserved to be in the lead in the first half.”

The Bears improved to 2-1 in the Western Slope League.

“We had a good first half against Battle Mountain and a good second half against Moffat,” Taucher said. “We’ll put those together down the road.”

The Bulldogs dropped to 0-3 and will have a week off from WSL play next week.

They play Class 2A Rangely at 4 p.m. Thurs-day at Woodbury Park.

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