Throughout a 0-0 tie against Durango early last week, the Montezuma-Cortez High School girls soccer team flashed brilliance.
Then, playing against Telluride on March 28, those flashes transformed into one consistent light as the Panthers dominated from start to finish in route to a 6-0 victory.
After controlling the ball throughout the early minutes of the first half, the Panthers struck gold in the eighth minute when a perfect through-ball from midfielder Kenna Tarr found the feet of Gabby Wolf, who was streaking down the right side.
With two Telluride defenders trailing close behind, Wolf calmly moved in on goal before chipping a perfect shot into the top left corner of the net to put M-CHS ahead 1-0.
Eight minutes later, the Panthers struck again when midfielder Aubrey Lopez fired a long curving shot into the top left corner of the net to give M-CHS a 2-0 lead.
The Panthers subsequently pulled ahead 3-0 after Kenna Tarr again passed to Wolf, who chipped in her second goal of the game from the left side of the box.
Continuing to dominate the midfield, M-CHS scored their final goal of the half after Wolf headed home a crossing pass from Lopez in the game’s 40th minute.
“Our midfield was playing great,” said Wolf. “We moved the ball around and created scoring opportunities.”
Emptying their bench in the second half, the Panthers continued to dictate the pace, moving ahead 5-0 after Lopez passed to Brittany Hampton, who scored from the right side.
The Panthers scored added one final goal in the 79th minute after Kyla Tarr moved the ball down the right side, beat several Telluride defenders and drilled a long shot into the back of the net.
In all, the Panthers six goals doubled the team’s offensive output over the first six games of the season, leaving players encouraged by the team’s progress.
“We’re getting better every game,” said Lopez. “The offense is coming together and creating opportunities. We just need to keep doing what we’re doing.”
With their record now at 1-4-2 on the season, the Panthers will enjoy their Spring Break before returning to action at home against Grand Junction Central on April 4.