The Pagosa Springs Lady Pirate soccer team kept up the momentum Tuesday afternoon, braving a ferocious wind storm at Golden Peaks Stadium to secure a 7-2 victory over the Ignacio Bobcats.
“The wind blew in all directions,” coach Lindsey Kurt Mason explained. “We really had to focus on keeping the ball on the ground. The corner flags blew off the masts a couple times and we had to tape them back on. It was amazing.”
Equally impressive was the action on the field — when spectators could clear the dust from their eyes long enough to watch it. The Pirates scored two goals in the first half while holding the Bobcats scoreless, but then after the halftime break, the Bobcats began to rally and got off two quick goals.
“They played well in the first half,” the coach said. “They just couldn’t put it in the net. The second half Ignacio tied it up, two to two. It was like a wakeup call; the girls gathered together, got their act together and matured as a team. It was really cool to see. I had nothing to do with it; they just took it upon themselves to start playing with a sharper focus and heightened intensity. Not that they weren’t sharp before, they just took it to a different level.”
The Pirates put an end to the Bobcats’ scoring and proceeded to score five more goals themselves.
“It was awesome to see,” Kurt-Mason beamed. “Any coach wants to see that happen with their team and (assistant coach) Scott Galabota and I were really pleased with the way the girls reacted to adversity. They really worked hard. What a life lesson!”
Johannah Laverty scored the first goal of the game, unassisted, from the far corner of the box with 16:30 left in the first half. In the second half, she scored with an assist from Katie Blue 58 minutes into the game, and again with less than a minute left in the game off an assist from Angie Gallegos. Laverty had eight additional shots on goal.
Maddy Davey had the second goal of the game from the top right corner of the 18-yard box with 12:38 left in the first half. In the second half, she scored three in quick succession after Laverty started the Pirate rally. All four of Davey’s goals were unassisted and she got credit for nine additional shots.
“Maddy had four goals and Johanna had three,” said Kurt-Mason as he broke down the details. “Angie Gallegos and Katie Blue were finding the seams. Angie was winning the middle of the field. Anissa Lucero was following every shot on goal, which added quite a bit of pressure to their keeper.”
Lucero got credit for three shots while Blue, Gallegos and Brooke Bowdridge added to the pressure with two shots each. Blue was named player of the game.
“Katie created scoring chances for us and denied many from the opposition,” the coach’s Player-of-the-Game citation read. “Her leadership in the second half brought our team to a new level of play. She displayed the gritty kind of determination that kicked everyone into gear!”
On the other end of the pitch, Rose Graveson played goalie for the first 40 minutes of the game and Maria Campuzano was the keeper for the second 40. Between the two, they logged three saves.
“We’re still in the mix,” the coach affirmed. “If we can beat Alamosa and beat either Telluride or Bayfield, then we can still make it into the top two for our region. It’s just a matter of us not panicking — of us believing in what we can do — but also recognizing that there is some urgency there, too. We want to get it done sooner rather than later, while believing in what we are doing, because what we are doing is right.”
The Pirates’ record reflects four wins and three losses in league play, placing them in the 32 spot in state 3A rankings.
The Pirates will host the Center Vikings tomorrow at 4 p.m. then finish out the month by travelling to Telluride on April 26 and Ridgway on April 27, then returning home to host Alamosa on April 30. The last game of the regular season will be in Bayfield on May 3.