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Soccer team wins two, heads for league tilt with Miners

After the past week, the Pirates may well crib lyrics from the old Meatloaf song, “Now don’t be sad, ‘cause two out of three ain’t bad,” suffering a 4-1 loss last Friday at home to the Montezuma-Cortez High School Panthers, but then regaining momentum, capturing a 4-0 victory in Ignacio against the Bobcats the next day, then returning home Tuesday for a 7-0 win against the visiting Center Vikings.

Despite Friday’s loss against MCHS (a team that had to rebound this season after forfeiting the entire season last year), Pirate Coach Lindsey Kurt-Mason was pleased at the direction his players had appeared to take.

Despite the Panthers having taken a 2-0 lead in the first half, Kurt-Mason said his players retained their mettle throughout the game.

“The team that scores first usually has the psychological advantage,” Kurt-Mason said, “but it didn’t affect our girls — they remained focused.”

Crediting key players, Kurt-Mason said, “Angie Gallegos stepped up her play and, in turn, stepped up our team play.

“Katy Blue had to step into an unfamiliar position (sweeper) because of a missing player,” Kurt-Mason added. “This caused us to change another player to center-mid, which in turn gave freshman varsity playing time in spots that were vacated by another missing upper classmen. Brooklyn (DuCharme) assisting, Anissa Lucero, Maddy Davey and Angie Gallegos. All of them played with physical intensity.

“Peyton (Shahan) also showed promise with a higher level of play and a near goal. Anissa was involved in every attack and did very well, even though it was her first time playing in center midfield. She nearly scored two times.”

A score by Gallegos in the second was countered by two more from the Panthers, handing MCHS a victory on Friday. Keeper Rosie Graveson was credited with 12 saves, while Johanna Laverty led the team with three shots on goal.

An intense offensive attack and impenetrable defense were the key during Saturday’s 4-0 win in Ignacio against the Bobcats. With a goal by DuCharme at just four minutes into the game, Lucero scored the Pirate’s second goal at the 23:15 mark, sending Pagosa into halftime with a 2-0 lead.

Gallegos led into the second half with a goal at the 54:33 mark, with Sydney Aragon finishing at 64 minutes with the Pirate’s final goal, cinching up the team’s 4-0 win on Saturday.

“Rosie played with more confidence at goalkeeper,” Kurt-Mason said regarding Saturday’s shutout. Both Davey and Lucero led with five shots on goal each.

“Maddy creates a scoring opportunity with each corner kick or direct, perfect placement,” Kurt-Mason said.

Despite some problems with penalties (called offsides16 times), the Pirates put together a formidable defense and lightning-quick offense during Tuesday afternoon’s 7-0 victory against the Center Vikings at Golden Peaks stadium.

“Our defensive shape was the best it has ever been,” Kurt-Mason said. “We have tightened up quite a bit in that area. We did struggle with being offsides but our second and third efforts were great.”

In fact, with Graveson only logging two saves for the game, credit goes to the Pirate defense that gave the Vikings little opportunity to shoot.

On offense, Blue and Davey led with two goals each, followed by Gallegos, Lauren Greer, and Haliegh Brown. Davey also led with six shots on goal.

Regarding some outstanding play by several Pirates, Kurt-Mason said, “Maddy’s serving the ball from set plays perfectly. Brooklyn, Anissa and Katy continue to be dangerous. Haliegh Brown and Peyton are improving with every game and Haliegh had her first goal. Angie (Gallegos) is also raising the level of her game — she scored a great one from 20 yards out!”

With the past week’s 2-1 record, the Pirates are at 3-6 for the season and 3-5 for the league.

The Pirates travel to Telluride on Tuesday to face the 9-1-1 Miners, a team lodged in second place for 3A Region 5 (Pagosa holds fourth place). Although the Miners defeated the Pirates 3-0 on March 16 in Cortez, Telluride was facing a team that had just come off weeks of practice in a gym and had not spent much time on the field.

With some time on the turf behind them and coming off two big wins, the Pirates look as though they could provide the Miners with a worthy scrap.

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