RIDGWAY – The Telluride Lady Miners soccer team felt the sting of defeat for the first time in more than two seasons this week, when their Ridgway rivals pulled the rug out from under their undefeated record Tuesday, in Ridgway.
The Lady Demons took the home field win 3-1, finally breaking the spell the Miners had held over their league for more than two seasons.
“They were overconfident,” said head girls soccer coach Aja Forestier of the Miners’ loss Tuesday, in which the girls played well, she said, but were dealt a tough break when the better-primed Demons leapt out of the starting gate with a vengeance. The Miners have only enjoyed a few hours of on-grass practice thus far this season; meanwhile, their lower-altitude dwelling rivals have been on the turf since practices began at the end of February. The lack of on-field training didn’t seem to hurt the Miners at their season opener in Ignacio and Pagosa Springs last weekend, however, where the ladies notched three W’s into their belts, beating Pagosa Springs 2-1 and Ignacio 4-0 and 9-0. In those matches, Telluride drilled their competition offensively, despite their shooting being not exactly up to snuff on account of having so little time to practice on grass (their practices at home have all been in the THS gymnasium up to this point.)
The ladies’ lack of on-field training worked to Ridgway’s advantage this week, with the Demons coming out two goals ahead. Miner Celine Wright knocked back Telluride’s sole goal, but by the end of the evening match Tuesday the girls were ready to accept their fate and head home.
“It was super cold, so by the end of the game all we wanted to do was get on the bus and get warm,” Forestier said.
The Miners’ plan to find their way back to their winning ways in upcoming matches this weekend, but they’ll need a little help from Mother Nature (who, at press time, didn’t seem to be ready to give up on winter just yet.)
“We’re really hoping to get on the field sometime soon,” Forestier said, noting that the girls are in need of on-grass practice in shooting and corner kicks, which are two skills that simply can’t be exercised in the gym.
The Miners travel to Bayfield this Friday, where they’ll face stiff competition against the as-yet undefeated Bayfield squad. They then play a double-header in Center Saturday, against the newly minted Center girls’ soccer team.
The Miners’ first home game is scheduled for April 21, the first Tuesday following THS’ Spring Break. The ladies will face off against Ridgway, where they’re sure to meet a tough fight against their biggest rivals.
“It’s going to be a real challenge for us,” admitted Forestier, “since most of our players won’t be acclimatized and probably won’t touch a soccer ball for two weeks. Coming back after that to play the toughest team will test us for sure.”