Moffat County soccer takes it to Middle Park in 5-4 OT defeat
Their faces may have been close to the blue and purple on their uniforms and those of their latest opponents, but the Moffat County High School girls varsity soccer team wouldn’t let a little breeze keep them down.
It was a hard-fought loss for MCHS, as they fell in overtime, 5-4, against Middle Park, during a windswept Tuesday afternoon game.
The 4-0 Panthers immediately applied pressure, bombarding Bulldog defense, but goalie Hannah Walker played more catch and release than a bored fisherman, taking everything Middle Park sent her way and sending it back, as most of her teammates stayed close by to do their part.
Bulldog shooting was minimal in the first half, but one good breakaway was all Delaney Baker needed to put in a solo goal, leaving it 1-0 at halftime.
The Panthers gained their second wind after that, as Annalys Hanna came face to face with Walker on two separate instances early in the latter half, both times coming away with a score. And, with a tricky shot sent in by Lily Dines, Moffat County girls were facing a 3-1 deficit.
Again finding the right approach against Panther keeper Georga Feek, Baker took her second goal with an assist from Jodi Hough, while a corner kick by Kaylynn Haefs bounced off Baker’s body to hit net as she rushed the posts, making it 3-all.
With another goal by Hanna, Middle Park seemed to have it finished, but Amairani Acosta showed otherwise, sweeping past the Panther defense to make it 4-4 at the last possible second.
A final goal by Hanna in extra minutes found its mark despite the initial deflection by Walker, but even with the win, the tone of the game was far different from any other Middle Park has seen this season, scoring 22 total goals and allowing only one before coming to Craig.
The Bulldogs had 16 total shots to Granby’s 25, while Walker maintained 37 saves compared to 12 by Feek.
The results were encouraging even without a W, said Moffat County coach Harry Tripp, whether it was Baker upholding her uninterrupted streak of hat tricks at home, Walker’s fearless performance in goal or the all-around spirit that didn’t diminish at the most strenuous parts of the game.
“I’m glad to see that when they get down by a couple goals, they seem to have that fight in them to dig back and want to score instead of just giving up,” he said. “(Middle Park is) a good team, and for us sticking with them is just awesome.”
Tenacity is a quality Tripp hopes will stick with the 3-2 varsity girls as they go on a longer hiatus than they planned. The JV group will travel to Steamboat Springs Thursday and meet Montrose Saturday in Grand Junction for a set of two games, but varsity won’t be competing again until April 7, coming out of a school vacation just in time to host the Coal Ridge Titans.
“Hopefully we can stay active during Spring Break,” Tripp said.