“We were calm and patient and setting things up”
by Than Acuff
After the team shoveled, school staff shoveled, even a bus driver got in and shoveled, the Crested Butte Titans girls soccer team hosted their first home game of the season in Gunnison on Tuesday, April 9. In the end, all of the work was worth it as the Titans cruised to a 5-0 win over the Alamosa Mean Moose to remain in the top spot of the league standings.
While all of the their practices had been indoors up until the game, you wouldn’t have known it from watching the first 20 minutes of play. With Tess Fenerty and Annabelle Faivre directing traffic in the midfield and flanks Livie Nute and Murphy Sloan staying wide to receive passes, the Titans established possession early and worked the field from side to side, looking for lanes outside to create chances inside.
Alamosa’s defense remained compact to shut off any and all opportunities in close but the work by the Titans held the ball in Alamosa’s half of the field looking for a seam to net.
Eventually the pressure and possession by the Titans paid off as an errant goal kick by Alamosa fell at the feet of Rachel Potoker. Potoker settled the ball and after dropping one defender with a quick touch, she fired her shot low through traffic and past the outstretched hands of the Mean Moose keeper for a 1-0 lead.
“We were calm and patient and setting things up,” says head coach Julia Kidd. “We actually tried to control the game and were playing soccer. I was a little nervous at first that we’d get in that same spot we were in against Del Norte, where we couldn’t finish, but we kept going and found a way to score.”
With such a deep bench to pull from, Kidd continued to get fresh legs on the field and while the team fell into a brief stint of disarray, they remained in control of the game and continued to press. The Titans took a 2-0 lead 34 minutes into the game when Karina Davalos received a pass out of the back and turned the ball up-field. Alamosa stepped to pressure the ball but Davalos found Fenerty with a pass through two Alamosa defenders and Fenerty carried the ball to goal, blasting her shot past the keeper.
Crested Butte’s game slowed down to open the second half, allowing the Mean Moose to push into the offensive half but the work of the defense left nothing for Alamosa to work with. While the Titans’ play remained a bit erratic, they continued to find gaps in the Alamosa defense and Davalos connected again with a striker when she fed Skylar Klemme breaking free and Klemme punched the ball home for a 3-0 Titans lead 28 minutes into the second half.
“I feel like we have a tendency to start out slow sometimes,” says Kidd. “Sometimes our patience is too much.”
Three minutes later the Titans struck again as a foul gave Crested Butte a penalty kick and Fenerty drove the shot into the upper corner to put the Titans up 4-0. Stevee Reinhart then capped the scoring in the 75th minute of the game, poking the ball around an Alamosa defender and then pushing it past the oncoming keeper for the 5-0 win.
“Overall I was pretty pleased,” says Kidd. “Winning 5-0 against Alamosa is a good game.”
The Titans return to action on Wednesday, April 24 when they head to Telluride for another league showdown.