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Titan girls’ soccer hitting their stride

Notch two wins over past week

by Than Acuff

The more time the Crested Butte Titans girls soccer team gets outside, the stronger they get. With practice space secured on fields in Gunnison and some games under their collective belts, the Titans are starting to click winning two games this past week over Ignacio and Cortez.

The Titans hit the road Friday, April 7 to face Ignacio. With coach Julia Kidd aware of the their opponent, she used the opportunity to get her JV players some time with a handful of varsity players and the mix worked out well as the Titans came away with a 2-0 win.

“I wanted the JV players to get a game in that week and I knew Ignacio was the one,” says Kidd.

While Kidd admits the report from her assistant Alexis Charles was not all good, the team still came away with a win paced by two goals from freshman Sydney Stoneberg and moments of possession soccer that held Ignacio at bay.

“They played a bit down to Ignacio but still managed to work on and maintain possession,” says Kidd.

Their next test came Saturday, April 8 as the Titans hosted Cortez in Gunnison. Cortez beat the Titans last season 4-1 but with the Titans clicking, things were far different this time as Crested Butte handed Cortez a 4-2 defeat.

The Titans opened the game dominating possession and their efforts came to fruition 17 minutes into the game as sophomore Murphy Sloan blasted a left-footed shot past the Cortez keeper.

“She has this left foot that has been hot and I could tell during warm ups before the game something was going to happen,” says Kidd.

Cortez tightened up to keep Crested Butte close the remainder of the half as the Titans took their slim one-goal lead into halftime.

Kidd pulled sophomore starting goalie Rachael Potoker to put her in the field for the second half and give freshman Shelby LaDuke key minutes in net. The move paid off almost immediately as Potoker scored seven minutes into the second half. Two minutes later sophomore Annabelle Faivre pushed up from defense on a corner kick and scooped up a loose ball to score from 30 yards out.

“The field is narrow so picking up garbage off of corner kicks is really important and we’d been telling them that,” says Kidd. Four minutes later the Titans went up 4-0 as freshman Zoe Eymere pushed up from her stopper position to score.

“They’re doing a good job now of holding the line on defense and making it more of an offensive game,” says Kidd.

Kidd turned to her bench for most of the remaining time and Cortez managed to squeeze in two goals, but the game was out of reach and the Titans finished off the 4-2 win.

“It was definitely the best game I’ve seen them play,” says Kidd. “They figured out that when they spread things out, they leave room for midfielders like Tess Fenerty to operate. They’re just growing as a team and understanding soccer more.”

The Titans get their next test on Thursday, April 13 as they host Ridgway in Gunnison at 4 p.m. at the Gunnison High School football field. Ridgway beat Crested Butte 4-3 earlier in the season and Kidd is looking for a little revenge in their second match up.

“If the team that played Saturday shows up, we should have a pretty good chance,” says Kidd.

The team will then take a hiatus and return to action after the April break for two more weeks of play, possibly more if they qualify for the post season.

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