Open league play this Friday
[ by Than Acuff ]
After gaining strides the previous weekend with games against Basalt and Aspen, the Crested Butte Titans girls’ soccer team took a small step back against Summit High School on Saturday, March 19.
The initial weekend coach Heather Culley saw her team gain massive strides between their Basalt match and the game against Aspen the following day. Culley and the team took what they learned in those first two matches of the season to dial in some things during the week of workouts as they prepared for their game against Summit.
“We worked a lot on our defensive positioning and our passing up top,” says Culley. “We were never able to put it together completely though.”
Summit High School would provide another stout non-league match up for the Titans. As a 4A school from a fairly competitive league, the Titan players had some apprehensions heading into the game and it showed in the first half.
“We looked a little nervous because we didn’t know them and they’re a bigger school,” says Culley.
As a result, the Titans played a majority of the first half in their own half as Summit pushed to try and blow the game open. The Titans held off the push for the initial half and were down just 1-0 at halftime.
“We played a lot of defense that first half,” says Culley. “I saw the work we had done on our shape at times, but not nearly enough. We made some adjustments, especially with our goal kicks.”
The Titans showed a little bit more of what they’re capable of including developing some offense to push onto Summit’s goal.
“We were playing much better and started to see some links in between the defense and offense,” says Culley.
Summit ended up scoring midway through the second half and then again shortly thereafter though to take a 3-0 lead to the final whistle.
“The coaches were pretty disappointed,” says Culley. “Not from the loss, just with the way we played. They can play a lot better, they showed us the weekend before.”
After the opening three games against bigger non-league programs, the Titans open league play on Friday, March 25 when they head to Telluride. The two teams have quite a history with Telluride knocking Crested Butte out of the 2A state tournament in the semifinals last year.
“I think they’re pretty fired up,” says Culley.
It’ll be a tough match and Culley believes it’ll come down to a couple key aspects of the Titans’ play.
“We can’t have a breakdown in the back, Telluride has two fast strikers up top,” says Culley. “We have to keep the ball at our feet too. It’s a small field so through balls don’t really work as they play their goalie way out of the goal.”
The game is at Telluride High School, kick-off is at 4 p.m. The Titans have their first home game of the season the following Friday, April 1 when they host Buena Vista at Katy O. Rady Field on the Western Colorado University campus. Kick off for that game is at 3 p.m.