The Pagosa Springs Lady Pirate soccer team had a busy week, taking to the pitch at Golden Peaks Stadium three times, first against Telluride on Friday, against Ridgway on Saturday, and battling Bayfield on Tuesday.
The Miners jumped to an early lead, scoring their first point with 24:40 left in the first half. The goal went unanswered by the Pirates and was followed by two more from the Miners, one with 21:07 on the clock, the other with 8:25.
“We obviously made three errors on transition that led to goals,” coach Lindsey Kurt-Mason explained. “They countered us only because we were pushing forward and we were not fast enough to get behind the ball.”
Things began to turn around in the second half, with Maddie Davey scoring the first Pirate goal with 21:30 left in the game.
“Maddie sent a beautiful corner kick into the back of Telluride’s net that brought us within two, with plenty of time left to even it up,” the coach commented. “I thought the spirit we played with was very good. Our effort was good. We were getting the ball into their box. We took eight shots versus their seven. We just lacked quality on the finish.”
Davey got off five additional shots, while Anissa Lucero and Johannah Laverty each managed to get one. However, a majority of the Pirates’ shots occurred before the half, and the Miners finished the Pirates off by scoring one last goal with forty-two seconds left in the game.
“Anissa, Maddie and Johannah were making some great runs and pressuring really well in their third of the field,” Kurt-Mason said.
On defense, Rose Graveson tended goal in the first half, with three saves. Maria Campuzano took over in the second half and had two saves.
“Angie (Gallegos) was a constant thorn in Telluride’s possession game and that kept us in the game,” the coach concluded. “The girls never gave up. Telluride’s last goal came in the final minute on what was another similar breakdown in transition and from our pushing up to getting back.”
The final score was 4-1.
The next morning the Pirates hit the field against the Demons and played a much more aggressive game, scoring two goals in the first half and three in the second, while holding their opponents scoreless.
“We wanted to pass the ball without dribbling,” Kurt-Mason explained. “That was the game plan. We didn’t want to play chase or catch-up.”
Katie Blue scored the first goal off an assist from Davey. Blue also got in four additional shots against the Demon goalie. Rylee Houston got the next goal with an assist from Laverty. Houston got off one other shot before her goal.
“The girls started with great energy and pace,” The coach credited. “We had thirty-eight shots on Ridgway, which converted into five goals — a good percentage!”
Gallegos scored the first goal in the second half after an assist from Lucero. Gallegos made five shots before that and one more after. Less than two minutes later, Laverty scored, with an assist from Lucero. Laverty attempted eight shots before her goal and one after.
Davey got the final goal of the game after attempting seven shots. Lucero added to the pressure on the Demon defense by getting off four shots, while Angette Pastuszek and Olivia Reinhardt each added a shot on the goal.
“After the Telluride game,” Kurt-Mason said, “I said to the girls, ‘Nothing changes if nothing changes, so if we want a different result, each of us has to change something in our play to help this team.’ The little pieces of the game all changed for the better on Saturday. Our passing, communication, movement, defending, shooting and finishing were all there. Everyone added a little more individually to get a great result.”
Campuzano tended goal during the first half and Graveson took over for the second, with each getting credit for one save, keeping the final score at 5-0.
Tuesday afternoon was overcast and chilly, a fitting atmosphere for the Pirates’ 3-0 loss to the Wolverines.
“That number seven was a quick player,” Kurt-Mason conceded. “We marked her on the outside instead of the inside.”
Effie Nistler (7) scored all three of the points against the Pirates, two in the first half and one in the second.
However, the coach said, “The girls don’t get down; they play to the end of the game. They played like it was zero to zero most of the game.”
Even though the Pirates remained scoreless, they did get in some good shots. Gallegos led the charge with four while Lucero got off three. Davey, Laverty and Shayla Lucero each added a shot and helped keep the ball on the Wolverine side of the field for most of the second half.
“We adjusted in the second half like we did in the Telluride game,” Kurt-Mason explained. “We were attacking the corners, and that created a lot of chances for us. If you look at the flow of the game, Bayfield controlled the first half. In the second half we had them pretty much on their heels. We were passing the ball well.”
Graveson tended goal and chalked up 12 saves.
“Rose played a lot better in the second half,” the coach credited, “because she started punting the ball. You mix it up, because they get used to you rolling it, and then they know where you’re going to put it. Our players are just getting a little more mature and figuring out where we need to be.”
Freshman Shayla Lucero was named player of the game on the grounds she, “stepped into a new position because of an injured player and shined.”
Next week, the Pirates hit the road to face Alamosa on April 2, then go to Center on April 4.