Play at home Friday and Saturday, March 10-11
by Than Acuff
After reaching the 2A state finals last year for the first time in the program’s history and falling to Dawson, the Crested Butte Titans girls soccer team wants to get back there and take it one step further.
“I would say last season was very successful but there are still things to accomplish,” says head coach Heather Culley. “They want to go back to the state finals but actually win it this time.”
And while the team did lose some players to graduation, Culley believes there is a foundation still in place for success as well as an influx of additional talent.
“The core is still there and we have a lot of freshmen moving in upping the competition level,” says Culley. “Our sophomores through the seniors have been together a long time as well and it’s nice to have them all used to playing with each other.”
Champions are made in the off-season and the off-season commitment is strong as several of the players took part in the fall club soccer season and continued their efforts indoors throughout the winter. About the only thing holding them back right now is the weather, just like it does every season.
The team started workouts officially on February 27, all of which have been held in the gym.
“Our biggest hurdle is this first part of the season and not being able to get outside,” says Culley. “So, we’re figuring out how to work on all of the technical stuff inside.”
Culley also has her entire coaching staff returning to maintain that level of consistency that is key to success each year. Matt Wilson joins Culley to help run the varsity team while Tom Lewis and Adrienne Weil will take on the JV squad to continue building a pipeline for consistency.
With two weeks of indoor workouts under their belts, the Titans may get a chance to practice outside this week on grass and then even get some time training on the Katy O. Rady field at Western Colorado University next week. But before that, they start their game schedule this weekend as the Titans host Aspen at 2:45 p.m. on Friday, March 10 and then Basalt on Saturday, March 11 at 11:30 a.m. at Katy O. Rady field kicking off an intense few weeks of opponents.
“The schedule is looking pretty competitive for the first month,” says Culley. “I’m excited for these games.”
Fortunately, with 31 players on the roster, Culley has one key ingredient to getting through the heavy schedule and, quite possibly, the post season.
“I think we have a lot of depth on our team,” says Culley.