They miss the state tournament by one spot
by Than Acuff
The Crested Butte Titans girls soccer team closed out the 2017 season with a series of intense games, and after the numbers were crunched, the girls finished ranked 13th in 2A, just one spot shy of the 2A state tournament.
Regardless of the overall outcome, the two games the Titans played last week will stand out from the season in coach Julia Kidd’s mind. It all started in Telluride on Tuesday, May 2. Just a week prior, the Titans lost to Telluride in overtime. This time around they emerged victorious as they pulled off a 1-0 win over Telluride.
Tess Fenerty put the Titans on the board 30 minutes into the first half as she finished on a penalty kick and the Titans team and goalie Rachael Potoker did the rest to keep it that way and take the win.
“I felt like we played them tight the whole game,” says Kidd. “Something was on our side that day for sure.”
The Titans returned home to host the Delta Panthers on Thursday, May 4. Delta is a quality 3A program that had beat Telluride by four earlier in the season. With that in mind, the Titans came out battling hard from the opening minute in a physical match that included two overtimes.
Delta struck first 24 minutes into the game and were pushing hard for an insurance goal but the Titans defense and midfield matched the Delta attack with speed and intensity, turning the ball clear of danger, led by Corrina Donovan and Zoe Eymere on defense.
The hard work of the Titans ultimately paid off 20 minutes into the second half. All season the Titans had struggled to get pressure into the attacking third but as the game progressed, things started to click up top for Crested Butte.
The Titans turned the ball up-field on a counter-attack and pushed it wide to Murphy Sloan. Sloan settled and crossed the ball into the six-yard box and when the Delta goalie mishandled the ball, Fenerty was there to poke it through, tying the game 1-1.
The two teams traded blows the remainder of the game but neither could convert, sending it into another overtime for the Titans. Crested Butte came close in the first overtime as Fenerty knocked a shot off the post. Delta threatened in the second half with a breakaway but Annabelle Faivre chased it down to push the ball wide of danger and the two teams finished with a 1-1 draw.
“I think it was our best game of the year,” says Kidd. “Everything clicked and it was super intense.”
The Titans finished the season on Saturday, May 6 with a triple-header, opening with a league game against Ignacio before their final non-league matches against Montrose C and JV teams.
The Titans cruised to an 8-0 win over Ignacio with two goals from Kiara Cottrell and solo strikes from Murphy Sloan, Avery Bernholtz, Maya Chandler, Potoker, Kali Pankey and Fenerty. Fenerty finished the season third in scoring for the league.
The Titans JV went on to beat Montrose C by three before the entire team collapsed in exhaustion from the frantic day and week, and fell to the Montrose JV team.
“The kids were just done,” says Kidd, “bruised and battered from two games that day and the entire week.”
Hopes are high as Kidd looks to the future of the program. In just their first year of varsity competition they missed the state tournament cut by one spot while a majority of the team is still young.
“I’m proud of what they did in their first year as a varsity program,” says Kidd. “We were super close and now we know. I think the girls coming up through the program are even better and we have a lot of talent in the freshmen and sophomore classes. We’re on the cusp of something really good.”