The Montezuma-Cortez High School Lady Panthers soccer team kicked off its season in high gear with two nonconference wins at home over Telluride, 3-2, and at Bayfield, 3-1, on Friday and Saturday.
M-CHS (2-0) got two goals from junior right winger Baylee Lindsley to lead the way against the Telluride Miners at Johnson Field, but M-CHS couldnt pull away from the pesky 3A school and it was tied 2 apiece in the second period.
The difference maker for the Lady Panthers came when Dominique Wilkin found the back of the net to put the home team up one, as M-CHS held on for the win. Goalkeeper Danielle Waltman had eight saves in the game.
We were able to put on a good amount of pressure and put in three goals on them from our midfield and our front lines, Lady Panthers coach Bobby Sitton said.
However, Sitton was not pleased with the defensive transition of his team. Telluride was able penetrate through Lady Panthers defenders and keep the game tied late.
We need to get our defense in a better mode to keep their shape to not give up some of the easy stuff that we gave up, Sitton said. Its good to start off with a win, but it definitely showed some of the weaknesses that we need to start working on.
M-CHS didnt have much time to regroup with a road trip to 3A Bayfield.
The defense did better on Saturday and pitched a first-half shutout. Allison Porter gave the visitors a 1-0 lead at the break.
In the second half, the Lady Wolverines responded with a quick goal to tie the game.
We lost our shape. Just kind of a mental lapse there and gave up a goal. It was too easy of a goal to give up, said Sitton.
M-CHS regrouped and Porter got her second goal of the game to give the Lady Panthers a 2-1 lead. Later in the half, freshman Elana Bernholtz came off the bench and scored her first career goal for the final margin. Waltmen had three saves in her second win.
We looked better, we were moving the ball better, but still we need to increase the speed in which we move the ball, Sitton about the Bayfield game. Once again, its something we need to work on.
The Lady Panthers have a tough roadie ahead with early season 5A/4A Southwestern League play at Montrose and Fruita Monument on Friday and Saturday at 5 p.m. and 11 a.m.
Sitton wants the things that need to be worked on resolved by Friday.
To play like we played this weekend going into league play is not going to do well for us this year, he said. We dont have much time to mess around at all. I need to get that message conveyed to the kids to relish the win, but its definitely short-lived. We got to get back to business.
Reach Bobby Abplanalp at [email protected]