No. 14 Pirates head into postseason

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SUN photo/Randi Pierce Pirate Connor Bjork meets up with Bayfield goalie Ben Young in the second half of the Pirates’ 5-2 victory over the Wolverines last Thursday. The Pirates delve into postseason play Friday in Carbondale with a game against Peak to Peak.
SUN photo/Randi Pierce
Pirate Connor Bjork meets up with Bayfield goalie Ben Young in the second half of the Pirates’ 5-2 victory over the Wolverines last Thursday. The Pirates delve into postseason play Friday in Carbondale with a game against Peak to Peak.

The Pagosa Springs High School Pirate soccer team defeated conference opponent Bayfield in its final home game of the season  on Thursday and, on Sunday, learned it will head into the first round of state playoffs as the No. 14 seed in Colorado 3A soccer.

The Pirates defeated the Wolverines 5-2 in Pagosa’s final home game of 2014, despite scoring only four goals.

Coach Lindsey Kurt-Mason highlighted that the team played solid and was “firing on all cylinders” in the victory.

The Wolverines struck first in the game, scoring in the first few minutes to take a 1-0 lead.

Blake Irons notched the first goal of the day for the Pirates to even the game with about 25 minutes left in the first half, heading in a ball that had bounced in and out of the 18-yard box.

The Pirates would hold the lead for the rest of the game.

Connor Burkesmith scored the team’s second goal with just under 13 minutes left in the first half, which was followed by a goal from James Berndt about a minute later, giving the team a 3-1 lead.

Bayfield, however, scored on a direct kick with about two minutes left in the half to take a 3-2 score into the second half.

The Pirates went on to tally two more points in the second half — the first off an own goal by Bayfield and the second on Berndt’s second goal of the day to give the Pirates the 5-2 win.

Berndt, backed by his two goals, was the team’s Player of the Game, with Kurt-Mason writing, “James displayed artistry along with speed of play, vision and two outstanding goals. He continues to raise the level of his game, his team play and in turn, the game itself.”

With the win, the Pirates are now 8-4 in league action and 10-4 overall, landing them third in the Intermountain League for the season, behind Telluride and Crested Butte, who finished with identical records — 11-1 in league play and 12-2 overall.

The Pirates now head into top-32 action as the No. 14 seed. Crested Butte enters the postseason as the No. 7 team, while Telluride heads in ranked 12th.

With that No. 14 seed, the Pirates head to Roaring Fork High School in Carbondale today and will face No. 19 Peak to Peak Friday at 12:30 p.m.

“We are ready to go to the 1st round in the state playoffs,” Kurt-Mason wrote in a statement to SUN staff, adding, “Our focus remains on just the next game.”

The Peak to Peak Pumas, who hail from Lafayette, are 7-8 overall and 5-3 in league play. The Pumas and Pirates faced no similar opponents this season.

Should the Pirates emerge victorious from Friday’s affair, they will be back in action the next day at 1 p.m., with the winner of the Pirate/Puma game taking on the winner of Friday’s game between No. 3 Roaring Fork and No. 30 Roosevelt.

Roaring Fork is 13-2 on the season and 8-0 in league action, while Roosevelt is 8-7 overall and 3-2 in league play.