The Montezuma-Cortez High School Lady Panthers soccer team split a pair of Southwestern League home games Friday and Saturday at Johnson Field.
M-CHS (3-3, 1-3 5A/4A SL) took care of Grand Junction Central 4-0, but injuries and illness plagued the Lady Panthers in a 7-1 defeat to Grand Junction on Saturday morning.
Sophomore Abby Engel got the Lady Panthers on the board first off an assist from senior Dominique Wilkin to give M-CHS a 1-0 halftime lead over the Warriors. Then the floodgates opened in the second half on GJC. Wilkin got her second assist of the game when she hit sophomore Allison Porter for the goal, and the Lady Panthers doubled their lead at 2-0. The Warriors defense simply couldnt keep up in the second half, as freshman Kenna Tarr scored her first career goal off an assist from Aubrey Lopez. Porter later found the back of the net for the second time with the assist coming from Elana Bernholtz, which resulted in the final 4-0 score as the Warriors lost the battle.
The first half was a little sketchy. I think we had a little too much pressure on ourselves, M-CHS coach Bobby Sitton said. We found our rhythm shortly into the second half, and we just kept relentless pressure on them. Dominique Wilkin had just an amazing game. Every one of our scores pretty much went through her. We finished strong and got the W.
Goalkeepers Danielle Waltman and Tori Laymon pitched a shutout. Waltmen had two saves in the first half, and Laymon had four saves in the second.
The following morning, the Lady Panthers were dealt a significant blow when junior Baylee Lindsley rolled her ankle and did not play. Grand Junction took advantage of the shorthanded Lady Panthers and scored four first-half goals to virtually put the game out of reach.
As a team, we werent clicking like we were yesterday, Sitton said. We didnt match up well; we missed a lot of open marks. By the time we got our marks figured out to play tighter, we were down to just playing individual effort and not a team effort. It hurt us.
Senior forward Whitney Raven certainly hurt the Lady Panthers in the first half with two goals and two assists to Stephanie Drake and Ashley Wallace.
Raven continued to prey on the Lady Panthers with her third goal early in the second half to give Grand Junction a 5-0 lead.
M-CHS finally landed on the board when Laymon got ahead of the defense, and had a one-on-one break with the net and beat goalkeeper Joei Ritter to cut the lead to 5-1.
That was as close as M-CHS got. Wallace and Kyleigh Larson added goals for the Lady Tigers.
(Were) just treating every game like the moment of importance, and making sure that we play our game and put the pace at the level that we want it to be at, and getting the job done, Grand Junction coach Adria Tilford said. Were just keeping our intensity high and playing game by game, making sure we do the little things well and remember that every team is going to bring a good game.
The lone Lady Panthers score was Laymons first of the season at the varsity level.
I think we played more individual today instead of as a team, senior captain Michelle Leonard said. I know we could have hanged with them because we did really good against Montrose. They (Grand Junction) are a good team, but we are also a good team. I think our bad thing is we just didnt play as a team. Soccer is not an individual sport.
M-CHS will host Pagosa Springs on Friday, April 8, at 2 p.m. at Johnson Field.
Reach Bobby Abplanalp at email@example.com.