Home game this Saturday at 1 p.m.
By Than Acuff
The Crested Butte Titans soccer team hit the road for their second league match of the season and rolled to a 7-0 win over the Colorado Rocky Mountain School (CRMS).
While the Titans already had six games under their belt heading into the match, it would be the first game of the season for CRMS. So the Titans looked to build off the effort they put in during their last match prior to the game.
“Our focus for the team was pretty straightforward,” says coach Matt Wilson. “We wanted to see the boys build on what they accomplished in the last game, and we wanted to see if they could find that extra gear that we got a glimpse of in the second half against Caprock.”
The advantage of game experience showed through as the Titans set the pace early. Crested Butte came out on the front foot to set up several early chances on net, but the CRMS goaltender turned away a couple while the other attempts missed the mark entirely.
It wasn’t until 15 minutes into the game when the Titans finally broke the seal on the CRMS net as Sawyer Barney set up Marin Gardner for his strike. Three minutes later Shawn Moran scored off another assist from Barney for a 2-0 Titans’ lead.
After a relatively quiet 15 minutes of play, Crested Butte scored two more in the final 10 minutes of the half. Cy Buckel set up Will Harpel for his goal and then Jordan Silva carried the ball up field to thread a pass through the CRMS back line and Joe Syson slipped through to just beat the goalie with a toe poke and a 4-0 Titans’ lead at halftime.
“The boys were all gas no brakes,” says Wilson. “Not only were they able to execute what we were hoping to see, but they also stepped it up from the very first whistle and completely overwhelmed CRMS in every facet of the game.”
Crested Butte continued to push the pace in the second half and tacked on a fifth goal seven minutes in when Kai Greene headed in a corner kick from Gardner. Then Silva won a ball during a CRMS attack and turned immediately up field. With no one stepping to pick him up, Silva carried the ball forward before finding Moran open and Moran finished it off for the Titans’ sixth goal of the game. Moran then completed his hat trick eight minutes later scoring off a third assist by Barney to cap the 7-0 win.
“We knew our boys would come out incredibly strong and fast but maintaining that energy level against a lesser opponent requires a specific mindset,” says Wilson. “The boys learned that the mental side of soccer is just as important as the physical side, and they all dug very deep to find that winning mindset. It was a huge breakthrough for the boys, and we were very proud of them for it.”
Crested Butte has another break from match play and then return to action on Saturday, September 16 when they host CRMS at 1 p.m. at Rainbow Field. Following that they host Ridgway on Tuesday, September 18 at 4 p.m. and then have three tough matches in a row the following week.
“We still have a few injuries to take care of, so this is a much-needed break for those boys,” says Wilson. “We’ll mainly focus on conditioning and connectivity within the team. We’re also going to watch some game film to see where we can improve, and hopefully get our minds right for the difficult matches coming up.”