Soccer team notches first win of season


Staff Writer

The Pagosa Springs High School Pirate soccer team notched its first victory of the season last weekend, 5-1, against the much-improved Center Vikings.

The win evens the Pirates’ record at 1-1 in the young season, giving them a 1-0 league record.

The first goal of the game came 4 minutes and 33 seconds into the game, when goalkeeper Briar Erskine cleared the ball, which was picked up by Mathew Breman in the midfield. Breman completed the play with a fast break.

Then, only 15 seconds later, the Pirates again found the back of the net, with Colton Polczynski assisting James Berndt.

Keeping up the scoring 9:56 into the game, Connor Burkesmith fed the ball to Polczynski for the game’s third goal.

After a lull in the action, with four minutes left in the half, Burkesmith fed the ball to Berndt for the Pirates’ fourth goal.

Pagosa rounded out their scoring before the whistle blew to end the first half, with Connor Bjork assisting Polczynski, giving the team a 5-0 lead.

But, the Vikings came out tough in the second half, keeping the Pirates on their heels and scoring about five minutes into the half, making the game 5-1 in favor of the Pirates.

Neither team scored again, with the game turning into a battle for possession played midfield.

In the game, the Center goalkeeper recorded 17 saves, prompting coach Lindsey Kurt-Mason to note, “We were peppering the goal.”

The team’s weekly lunch box award (equivalent to the player of the week) went to Polczynski, whom Kurt-Mason called a, “lightning bolt,” playing offense and defense while leading the team.

Erskine tallied 16 saves on the day — seven in the first half and nine in the second half.

“They’re actually a really good team,” Kurt-Mason said of the improved Vikings, noting that the change is good for the league. “They really are.”

The Pirates were also improved over their first showing of the season — a 5-1 loss to the Salida Spartans.

“Our speed of play was up, which was what we wanted to have happen,” Kurt-Mason said.

And that improvement looks to be continuing.

“The speed of these guys and their work has been pretty impressive all week,” Kurt-Mason said, adding that Tuesday night’s rain-soaked practice was the best of the season thus far.

Now, the team hopes that continued improvement propels them to victory in a pair of games this weekend.

Friday, the team heads to Crested Butte for a 3:30 p.m. league match.

Saturday, the team hosts the Montezuma-Cortez Panthers in its first home game of the season, which is scheduled for 11 a.m.

However, because of the team’s expected late return from Crested Butte Friday, Saturday’s game may be rescheduled to 1 p.m., Kurt-Mason said, though no change had been made as of press time on Wednesday.