RIDGWAY – The Ridgway Raptors U12 soccer team soared home with silver medals awarded at the 2008 Grand Mesa Invitational Soccer Tournament held at Canyon View Park in Grand Junction on May 17 and 18.
The Raptors exploded onto the field against the Steamboat Futbol Club on Saturday morning. Quinlin McNatt scored the Raptors’ first goal after intercepting a defensive pass. Josh Crull trapped another defensive pass and booted the ball across the field to Jake Cunningham, who snapped a shot into the lower corner for goal number two. On defense, Marten Kendall anchored Kiva McCarty and Leta McNatt to shut out Steamboat 2-0.
In game two, the Ridgway Raptors flew onto the field to meet Durango’s Eagle Eyes. Anthony Mainiero started the excitement with a breakaway, followed by Cunningham taking a shot from the right-hand slot, sending the ball soaring over the goal. McNatt worked the ball to Cunningham again, who scored the lone Raptors’ goal.
The Eagle Eyes responded quickly, striking at the Raptors’ defense of Abel Lannan and McCarty. Mid-fielder Robert Ragle assisted the defense by blocking a shot, breaking up Durango’s offense. Goalie Derek Hanshaw blocked a dozen shots during the second half, including an indirect penalty kick, but a sharp Eagle Eye player tipped in a corner kick, ending game two in a 1-1 tie.
Early Sunday morning, the Raptors faced the Telluride Crossfire. Crull and Jasmine Braund assisted Mainiero, who “deked-out” a defenseman and the goalie to score the first goal. McNatt landed a penalty kick in the upper corner for goal number two. Braund intercepted the ball and passed to Anthony, who then passed across the Crossfire slot allowing McNatt to tap in goal number three. Cunningham later scored on a pass from McCarty for the final goal of the game, resulting in a 4-0 win.
With two wins and a tie, the Ridgway Raptors earned a spot in the championship game against the Durango U12 Crew.
The Raptors’ offensive line of Braund, Middleton, Gracie Benasutti, McNatt, Mainiero, and Cunningham played hard against Durango’s outstanding traveling team. Defensive players McCarty, Lannan, Kendall, Leta McNatt, Sarah Baker, and Crull blocked countless plays by the Durango Crew, and goalie Hanshaw held Durango to just one goal, but that’s all they needed for the win.
Congratulations, Ridgway Raptors and Coach Jason Brown.