Moffat County soccer weathers tough start to season as numbers fluctuate
The early weeks of the schedule have been trying for Moffat County girls soccer, but Bulldog coaches aexpect the struggles to only make their athletes tougher.
MCHS was scheduled to host a home game Tuesday against Vail Mountain School, but high winds combined with travel difficulties postponed the match to the end of the season, giving the Bulldogs a breather after a harsh week.
MoCo’s home opener was March 31 and ended in a 10-1 loss to Rifle. The group was down 5-0 at halftime against the Bears, and while the last 40 minutes weren’t much easier, the silver lining came with their first goal as sophomore Mia Cheuvront prevented a shutout.
“Toward the end, it was a good clear out of the back, outside to our defender, she kicked it up to Mia, and she just had to do one move through and it was a one-on-one that was perfect,” said head coach Chelsea Suazo.
The other positive note was a 4-1 victory in the JV game, during which Cheuvront and Alexa Hernandez each picked up a goal and teammate Laurallie Latham scored twice.
After the first game of the spring ended in a 10-0 defeat — a March 24 matchup in Aspen, which Suazo knew would be difficult — the Rifle competition was a much more encouraging outing despite difficulties.
“They definitely played well against Rifle,” Suazo said. “Saturday they came out, and it looked like we’d never touched a ball.”
The Bulldogs competed Saturday on the road against Grand Valley and fell 10-0. Suazo said she could tell girls were more deflated by the loss, perhaps more so given their level of positivity after the Rifle games and Cheuvront’s goal.
“They came in a little excited after that, and I think Saturday just put us back in check. They realized we still have a lot to do,” she said. “We basically beat ourselves in that game. We did everything we practiced not to do: staying goal side, tripping on our marks, closing down the ball. Those were three huge parts of it.”
Several players are nursing injuries, several more are preoccupied with the spring play, and several are struggling with grades, Suazo said.
However, this stretch of the season is proving less problematic than she’d hoped.
“I didn’t like that on our schedule at first, but now it’s kind of playing into our favor,” she said.
Rescheduling the Vail Mountain game also didn’t hurt.
With road events on the horizon, MCHS will next play at home April 21 against Roaring Fork.
Suazo is looking for players to shake off their initial defeats and keep improving, with a short-term goal of seeing a turnaround against one of their previous opponents later this spring.
“Hopefully they’ll take it to heart that we have a redemption game, and it will be a home game, against Grand Valley,” she said.
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The end of another school year at Moffat County High School means it’s that time again to highlight the best senior student-athletes as part of the Lewis “Dude” Dent Memorial Awards Ceremony.