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Soccer home opener Friday

Despite last year’s losing season, Pirate soccer coach Lindsey Kurt-Mason expressed optimism for this year’s squad, a team loaded with talent and experience, with over half the squad manned by seniors.

Kicking off their season in Farmington at 4 p.m. today against the Scorpions, Kurt-Mason sees the game, along with tomorrow’s 2 p.m. home opener at Golden Peaks Stadium against the Palisade Bulldogs — both games out of conference — as necessary steps to a successful season.

“Both teams are well organized,” Kurt-Mason said, “and will give us two more chances to better our play before we play Cortez next Tuesday.”

The Pirates host the 4A Montezuma-Cortez Panthers 4 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 8, on the home pitch.

Looking to the season ahead, Kurt-Mason pointed to several improvements over last year, saying, “Our speed of play has increased from last season. Our defensive play is much tighter and more physical. Our movement of the ball has increased and we are communicating fairly well.”

Referring to the experience of his team, the coach said, “Our back four is made up of seniors that are going to be very stingy in their third of the field.”

However, the Pirates travel to Farmington tomorrow holding not just experience in their favor but depth. With returning standouts sophomore Riley Searle and junior Jacob Ormonde heading up a strong offense, along with sophomore Matt Fisher and senior Jordan Davey, the Pirates look formidable on the attack.

Furthermore, returning senior goal keeper Allan McIver should give opponents this season some difficulty getting the ball into the net.

“Fisher and Searle are playing off each other really well in the offensive third,” Kurt-Mason said, adding, “McIver has come into his own this season.”

Despite some promise shown last season, the Pirates were often inconsistent and had difficulty finding the necessary synergy to coalesce as a team. Fortunately, this year’s team appears to be shaping up in a way that overcomes both issues. Compounded with some excellent talent, depth and experience, Pirate boys’ varsity soccer is already providing a glimpse of promise and tremendous potential.

Local fans can catch the Pirates tomorrow at 2 p.m. against the Palisade Bulldogs and again on Tuesday at 4 p.m. in the match against the Montezuma-Cortez Panthers. All games are free and open to the public.