Titan girls secure fourth seed at 2A state tournament

Game this Friday at Western at 4:30 p.m.

By Than Acuff 

The Crested Butte Titan girls soccer team won their final two games of the regular season last weekend to earn the fourth seed at the 2A state tournament. As a result, they will host the first two rounds of their side of the bracket starting with the first-round game on Friday, May 10 against the 13th seed Rocky Mountain Lutheran at Western Colorado University turf field at 4:30 p.m. A win Friday will send the Titans to the quarterfinals the very next day, also at Western, time and opponent to be determined.

Heading into the weekend the Titans were ranked fifth in 2A and gunning for a top four spot so they could host. They kicked off their final push on Friday, May 3 hosting the Pagosa Springs Pirates at Western.

“I think we were pretty confident heading into the Pagosa game because we know from last year that we could play well,” says sophomore captain Nora Thomes. “I also think that our team has really come together in the last couple of weeks, and the success that we have had in our past has given us confidence to play well together and connect.” 

There was a slight hiccup though as the Titans were missing three starters for the game, including leading scorer Leigh Harpel and starting center back Sawyer Ezzell. 

“There were definitely some concerns with having Leigh and Sawyer gone, both of our seniors,” says Thomes. “But I think we were able to connect well without them and we have a strong bench. We were just told to go and play our game.”

 While Crested Butte dominated possession throughout the first half, the Titans managed just one goal for a slim lead at halftime.

“We just couldn’t break them down correctly,” says head coach Tom Lewis. “We did really well possessing the ball but our speed of play wasn’t quick enough and we told them take the opportunities to shoot the ball.”

“The first half of the Pagosa game we started with a new set up in the middle which is a lot different,” says Thomes. “I think that when we switched the formation back to normal it helped a lot. Our coaches also reminded us of our skill level and that we could beat Pagosa with our skill set.”

The Titans took the advice to heart scoring four goals in the first six minutes of the second half to pull away for good and cruise to a 6-0 win. Calla Fenlon, Molly Miller and Teagan Turner all had one goal each while Thomes led the team with a hat trick.

“In the absence of Leigh, Nora really stepped up to be that creative midfield general,” says Lewis.

“I think we just went in ready to shoot and with the need to win,” adds Thomes.

Lewis also touts the contributions of everyone on the field as several players stepped into critical roles with three starters out.

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