League record improves to 6-1
After a weeklong break from contests, the Titans returned refreshed and on fire, with back-to-back wins over Center and Telluride.
Center opened the game on fire, executing a near flawless short-passing game as the Titan defenders scrambled to stay with their marks.
Senior Robbie Holleran held the team together through the opening minutes of the game at the sweeper position, barking out directions to his confused teammates and clearing the ball from in front of the Titans net.
Sophomore Henry Linehan offered the Titans their first strike of the match, stepping up to a direct kick outside the penalty box and catching the Center goalie out of position to float a chip shot into the far corner for a 1-0 Titans’ lead.
Linehan then assisted on the Titans’ next goal, feeding a pass to older brother/senior Jack Linehan for the finish and a 2-0 Crested Butte lead.
Center struck back 10 minutes later to cut the lead to one, but senior John Wright and Jack connected in the final minute of the half for Jack’s second goal of the game, giving the Titans a 3-1 lead at the break.
Crested Butte pulled together for 15 minutes of quality soccer to open the second half. The work of their midfield pushing the ball wide opened up the offensive third of the field for the strikers.
The constant pressure by Crested Butte ultimately led to their fourth goal, as Holleran charged through the penalty area on a corner kick for the header. Minutes later, senior John Wright capitalized on a defensive miscue by Center to tap in the fifth Crested Butte goal, closing the game out for good with a 5-1 win.
Crested Butte then headed to Telluride to face their ski town rivals on Tuesday, September 30.
The Titans edged out a tight 3-2 win over the Miners earlier in the season but the Miners had collected five wins out of six games since then and were peaking as they took the field.
Fortunately, so were the Titans, making for an extremely tight first half.
The two teams battled hard, relinquishing stylistic play for good old-fashioned grit exchanging shots on goal with a wide-open end-to-end battle.
The Titans struck first in the seventh minute when Wright took a pass from Jack at the top of the 18 and buried the left-footed shot to the lower corner.
The Miners came firing back, but the Titans defense held tight inside their defensive third of the field to take a 1-0 lead into halftime.
Crested Butte stepped up the intensity in the second half from the opening kick-off, pressuring the ball at midfield to create opportunities on Telluride’s net.
Wright carried the ball to the end line and found Holleran crashing the goalmouth with a low hard pass for the finish and a 2-0 lead in the first two minutes of the half.
The Titans struck again when Wright buried a head ball on the far post off a corner kick from Jack, giving the Titans a 3-0 lead.
Wright completed the hat trick in the 20th minute converting on a penalty kick and Jack iced the 5-0 win, crushing a left-footed blast from outside the 18 in the final two minutes of the game.
The Titans soccer team returns home this week to host Bayfield on Thursday, October 2 and then Pagosa Springs on Friday, October 3. Both games will start at 4 p.m.