CORTEZ – In their first league game of the season, the Telluride Lady Miners soccer team overcame some early-season setbacks and climbed to a resounding 4-0 win over Pagosa Springs last weekend.
According to Telluride High School Head Coach Aja Forestier, the Miners ultimately shined at last Friday’s matchup despite being out-of-practice playing on a full-sized outdoor pitch. Telluride, of course, is still under the grip of winter, so too is its high school soccer team, which has had little opportunity to hone their soccer skills outside of the THS gymnasium where they practice.
“We have trouble shooting, our corner kicks are weak, and our conditioning suffers,” as a result of practicing indoors, Forestier explained.
“This weekend was really a confidence builder for us. To be able to go out into our league and dominate like we did helped the girls’ confidence on many levels.”
The Miners played three non-league games before meeting Pagosa Springs last weekend in Cortez (the only area field where snow was absent). In each of those earlier matches, the Miners struggled with their lack of experience playing together on turf. All told, the Miners had only twelve shots on goal in those three matches combined.
Although last weekend’s game also revealed areas where the team was lacking, the girls ultimately soldiered through the game with poise. Ali Tassone knocked back two of Telluride’s goals, while Chancee Forestier and Sarah Wontrobski posted one goal each.
And perhaps more important was the fact that Telluride managed to get in front of the net more times during the Pagosa match than they had in their three earlier games combined.
The Miners’ Junior Varsity also put on a good show against Pagosa last weekend, coming up with six goals to their opponent’s one. Coach Forestier said that seeing so many able shooters in such a young squad bodes well for the future of Lady Miner soccer.
Telluride hopes their win will spark a trend, especially with two particular games on the horizon. They are scheduled to play 2009 league champions Ridgway this afternoon in Ridgway. With the Ridgway Demons’ fall to Bayfield (1-0) last weekend in Cortez, RHS coach Chuck Siefken said this year’s young team has a lot of growing to do between now and the end of the season.
“Telluride’s going to be a really tough game, so we’ve got a few things we’ll be working on, not just this week but for the rest of the season,” Siefken said
Forestier echoed Siefken’s sentiments about today’s game.
“It’s a huge game for us,” she said. “They always come out strong against Telluride. This is a game they really want to win, and we really want to win.”
On Saturday, Telluride will meet the league’s #2 finisher from last year, Bayfield. Playing the first- and second-ranked teams only one day apart should, if nothing else, give the Miners a jolting jump-start to the 2010 season.
“Those are the teams to beat this year,” Forestier said of Ridgway and Bayfield.
After that, Telluride will go on a two-week soccer hiatus for spring break. So too will Ridgway, whose next game is scheduled for April 13.