Prepare for Homecoming this Friday
by Than Acuff
The Crested Butte Titans soccer team appears to be right in the mix in the Intermountain League this season with other teams seeing mixed results and the Titans winning their first three league games of the year.
They faced their first major league challenge of the year when they hosted the Ridgway Demons on Tuesday, September 6. After a stretch of subpar seasons, the Demons have been on the rise the past two years and continue to test the Titans every time they play. This time around the Titans had the upper hand for a majority of the game, to finish off the Demons 3-0.
The Titans relied on their back line of Alden Watkins, Tate Young, Garrett Pierson and Woody Martineau to get them through a disheveled effort by the team in the opening 10 minutes of the game. Fortunately, as the half progressed, the Titans found their rhythm, sparked by the efforts of Patrick Seifert in the midfield, and started to gain traction on attack. They opened the scoring 12 minutes into the game as Jordi Nichols received a pass and slipped it through the Demon defense to Merlin Mapes, who ran onto the through ball and drove it past the oncoming goalkeeper.
Ten minutes later the Titans drove down the left flank, and Mapes sprinted wide to take a pass and play a cross to the top of the 18-yard box. As Ridgway turned to clear the ball, Seifert came charging out of the midfield to drive a half volley shot through traffic for a 2-0 Titans lead.
Ridgway shook off the bus ride midway through the half to press into the Titans’ half and opened a few shots, but their efforts either flew wide or were scooped up by Titans goalie Josh Pruett.
Ridgway threatened late in the first half, looking to gain some momentum going into halftime, but the Titans held off the surge and countered to find the back of the Demon net one more time.
A push wide opened the middle, and when the front line dropped the ball back to Dylan Eaton, he slipped a pass through to Seifert overlapping, and Seifert netted his second goal of the game for a 3-0 lead at the half.
The Titans continued to press in the second half, producing a handful of additional chances on net, but concentration waned and Crested Butte failed to finish, but their defense and midfield did what was necessary to maintain the 3-0 shutout win.
“My expectations were nothing new going into the game,” says assistant coach Prawit Durgan. “I expected them to play their best soccer and get the win and we came away with a great 3-0 shutout.”
Nevertheless, Durgan continues to have some concerns about the team’s effort over the entire 80 minutes.
“Same as when we played Salida and Alamosa,” says Durgan. “I’m looking for consistency and maintaining composure throughout the whole game. I’m not really sure how to work on that but I feel like every Titans team is like this.”