The Pagosa Springs High School boys’ soccer team is tied for third in the league following a series of three league matches during the last week.
Crested Butte remained atop the league as of Wednesday at 7-0 (7-2 overall), followed by Telluride at 4-2 (5-2 overall), and Alamosa (6-4 overall) and Pagosa (5-4 overall) at 4-3.
Trailing are Ridgway at 3-3 (3-3 overall), Center at 1-7 (1-9 overall), and Bayfield at 0-5 (0-7 overall).
The Pirates started the league-heavy week Friday with a home game against the Telluride Miners, which they dropped by a score of 4-1.
The Pirates’ sole goal of the game came in the eighth minute on a header by sophomore James Berndt.
The Miners fought back, scoring in the 12th and 15th minutes, as well as in the fourth and 11th minutes of the second half, with Telluride steadily gaining a stronger grip on the game’s possession as it progressed.
Goalie Briar Erskine recorded nine saves on the day.
“They had the edge on us,” coach Lindsey Kurt-Mason said. “They were faster to the ball. They moved well up and down the field.”
Kurt-Mason also noted weaknesses in the Pirate defense, moving up and down the field, and said the team didn’t play the entire 80 minutes with intensity.
Saturday, Pagosa welcomed the Ridgway Demons to town, opening the game with a goal by Berndt in the sixth minute.
But, similar to Friday, the Demons fought back, scoring a goal in the 14th minute, with Ridgway steadily taking possession.
The Pirates, though, declined to let the Demons take the game and, with just over 11 minutes remaining, Mathew Breman found the back of the net to give the team a needed point to win.
The Pirates, Kurt-Mason said, were much quicker to the ball Saturday, with a quicker pace to their play.
And, Kurt-Mason noted, a muddy spot in the middle of the field forced the team to expand its play. “It forced us to move the ball outside.”
Erskine saved the ball nine times in the first half, while Conner Bjork notched four saves in the second half.
Tuesday, the Center Vikings came to town for the Pirates’ third league game of the week.
Again, the Pirates scored first in the game, with Ben Bard flicked the ball into the net with his head off a corner kick from Bjork.
Despite several more close shots, the game went to halftime with Pagosa leading 1-0.
About five minutes into the second half, however, Pagosa added to the scoreboard with a goal by Conner Burkesmith.
Just under 10 minutes later, Berndt found the back of the net to give the Pirates a 3-0 lead with his eighth goal of the season.
With just over 20 minutes left in the game, Center found the back of the net, but that goal was matched by Burkesmith’s second goal of the half with 8:45 left to play.
Center again challenged Pagosa with just under six minutes left, scoring another goal to make the score 4-2, but failed to come any closer in score.
Erskine notched 11 saves on the day, bringing his total to 120 saves on the season.
Friday, the team takes on Crested Butte at Golden Peaks Stadium with the hopes of handing the Titans their first league loss of the season.
“They’re a good team, they’re a fast team,” Kurt-Mason said, noting the team’s mature play from a senior-heavy squad.
Pagosa lost to Crested Butte 4-3 on Sept. 13.
“We’re looking forward to playing them again,” Kurt-Mason said.
Tuesday, the team will head to Piedra Vista for a 3 p.m. non-league match in Farmington, N.M.
That team, too, looks to be a solid squad with a lot of speed, Kurt-Mason said, and will be good for the Pirates to play.