Pull through early-season illness
by Than Acuff
With the Crested Butte Community School in the midst of an outbreak of illnesses of epidemic proportions, the girls soccer team had just enough healthy players to hit the road for their first two games of the season, and they finished the trip with back-to-back wins.
“Even with pulling three players up from JV, I still had only 16 total,” says coach Julia Kidd. “It was looking like I was going to have only 11 for a while.”
The Titans have been limited to gym space for practices so far this season, with one day of workouts on grass in Salida and a scrimmage against Montrose mixed in. The scrimmage went well, as the Titans took down the Montrose JV team 2-0. Kidd was pleased with what she saw from her team.
“They played really well and it could have been 6-0 but we struggled finishing,” says Kidd. “It was a good way to work some of the kinks out before our first games.”
Their first games came a week later as they headed to the southwest corner of the state to face Ignacio and Cortez Friday and Saturday, March 15-16. While the schedule had the two games spread out over two days, field issues in the area forced the Titans to play a doubleheader on Saturday, starting with Ignacio at 11 a.m. and then Cortez at 2 p.m. With the squad down to 16 players, the back-to-back games could prove to be a challenge but they opened the day cruising to a 10-0 win over Ignacio.
The Titans scored 53 seconds into the game and continued to attack, building an 8-0 lead by halftime. With a second game soon after, the Titans punched in two more goals in the second half to hit the 10-0 mercy rule limit and officials called the game with 20 minutes left to play. Stevee Reinhardt, Mya Schaffer, Zoe Eymere and Maya Chandler all scored two goals each, with Siena Truex and Karina Davalos each netting one.
“I saw them really utilize the space well and when we started pulling ahead, I was able to mix things up and get players in new positions,” says Kidd. “I felt bad about ending the game early but we needed to get as much rest as we could before the second game that day.”
Kidd and the Titans had an idea they would have a tougher challenge against Cortez, especially with the doubleheader format.
“We knew that they bring an intense game—they’re in shape and play a physical game,” says Kidd.
For the second game in a row, the Titans struck early as Skyler Klemme scored two minutes into the game. Schaffer then proceeded to dribble her way through several players to net the Titans’ second goal as they took a 2-0 lead into halftime.
“The girls were saying the game felt hectic but it was just a matter of Cortez playing at a faster pace than they had seen against Montrose and Ignacio,” says Kidd. “Our energy level was good through the first half, though.”
Davalos then put the Titans up 3-0 four minutes into the second half, a goal that would prove key to the final outcome. Cortez soon climbed back into the game as they converted on a penalty kick and then poked a second goal in to cut the Titans’ lead down to one with plenty of time left.
While fatigue started to set in the Titans remained tough and held off Cortez through the remainder of the game to seal the 3-2 win.
“We were just holding on and exhausted,” says Kidd.
With starting goalie Rachel Potter out with injury and back-up goalie Anika Andersen away at hockey games, Sophie Hall was called on to stand in-net and opened her career with two wins.
“She hopped in there and did amazing,” says Kidd.
There’s no rest for the weary though, as the Titans’ schedule ramps up with three games over four days, including clashes with league opponents Ridgway and Telluride and a non-league showdown with Salida. All games, obviously, are on the road.
“This next week is special,” says Kidd.