First home games of the season this weekend
by Than Acuff
The Crested Butte Titans girls soccer team rattled off two huge wins last week as they took down Ridgway 2-0 and then returned to the San Juan mountains on Saturday, March 31 to beat the Telluride Miners 2-0, only to fall two days later 1-0 to Alamosa.
Telluride is always a big game and the Titans were looking to shake things up as they set their sights on the classic showdown.
“We knew if we beat them we would take over first place in the league and so the girls really looked to it as an important game,” says head coach Julia Kidd. “We tried to go in as prepared as we could be and I think we were.”
While a majority of possession and attacking opportunities favored Crested Butte, the two teams closed the first half locked in a 0-0 tie. The Titans eventually opened the scoring 17 minutes into the second half when Livie Nute carried the ball into the 18-yard box and was fouled, drawing a penalty shot. Tess Fenerty performed the honors and buried the penalty shot to put the Titans up 1-0 and further fuel their fire.
“I think after that goal they realized they could do it and I think they got a little hungrier,” says Kidd.
Ten minutes later the Titans struck again as outside midfielder Murphy Sloan received a pass just outside the 18-yard box and buried her shot into the upper corner for a 2-0 lead.
While discouraged, Telluride continued to press but the Titans maintained their momentum to hold off the Miners’ attack and put the finishing touches on the 2-0 win.
“The girls were really fired up. We put a lot of energy into that game,” says Kidd. “The entire game they played with a speed and intensity I hadn’t seen all season.”
Unfortunately, the Titans four-game winning streak came to a screeching halt. With three starters missing, as well as their starting goalie, the Titans struggled to find the winning mix as they lost to Alamosa 1-0 on Monday, April 2.
The Titans opened the game where they left off in Telluride, dominating possession and creating chances on attack.
“We started that game possessing the ball like I’d never seen before,” says Kidd.
But, 27 minutes into the game, a wind-assisted throw-in led to a breakaway and Alamosa scored to take a 1-0 lead into halftime.
Alamosa is notorious for a well-disciplined defense and they relied on that throughout the second half as the Titans’ attack started to wear down. Siena Truex and the back line of the Titans did their job to shut off the Alamosa attack but Crested Butte struggled to get anything going on the counterattack.
“A lot of the game was played in the center of the field and Siena saved us multiple times and our back line was solid,” says Kidd. “We just couldn’t get anything through and couldn’t even get into the six.”
Alamosa did what was necessary to preserve the win, handing the Titans their first loss of the season.
“It was really tough to be so intense against Telluride and transfer that intensity into the Alamosa game,” says Kidd. “Having just one day off before rolling into Alamosa really did affect us. There was really no time to rest, rebuild and prepare.”
The Titans will host their first home games of the season this weekend as they face Ignacio on Friday, April 6 at 4 p.m. and then Cortez on Saturday, April 7 at 11 a.m. All Titans home games are played at the Gunnison high school football field. Kidd is looking to get back on the winning track as the Titans defeated both teams earlier in the season.