Missing many of its best players to injury and spring break, the Montezuma-Cortez High School girls soccer team found itself on the wrong end of a 6-0 beat down by Telluride on March 21.
Although highlights evaded the Lady Panthers in much of the one-sided contest, the team did produce a scoring opportunity in the game’s 29th minute when Johana Ruiz fired a long shot that appeared headed for the back of the net.
Just before Ruiz’s shot crossed the goal line however, Claire Shaver of Telluride managed to backpedal enough to knock the ball aside with her outstretched arms and prevent the M-CHS score.
“I was nervous about shooting it, but I just decided in my head to go ahead and shoot,” Ruiz said. “I gave it all of my passion and might, and I was really happy when I let go of (the shot).”
Aside from Ruiz’s blast, however, the Lady Panthers had no other shots on goal as players struggled to maintain possession of the ball. Notably absent from M-CHS’ lineup were top players Codi Archuleta, Josie Sitton and McKenzie Howerton, who each missed the game because of injury or Dolores High’s spring break.
“We had a lot of girls missing from Dolores because of spring break and that kind of killed us,” M-CHS head coach Sam Edgerton said. “We actually won some fifty-fifty balls, and we had a few swings of possession though. We’re getting there little by little. We played much better than our last game.”
Telluride’s first goal came in the game’s 10th minute when sophomore Samantha Morrell collected a loose ball along the left wing, cut back to the middle and fired a hard shot just inside the left post.
Morrell struck again in the 15th minute when she fired a long shot and M-CHS goalkeeper Elena Cosner accidentally stepped over the goal line with the ball in her hands. Telluride freshman Cailen Toughes scored to put Telluride ahead 3-0 just before halftime, and Rubie DeLuca scored Telluride’s fourth goal in the 47th minute.
Morrell added her third and fourth goals in the final six minutes to put Telluride ahead 6-0.
Somewhat discouraged yet still optimistic after loss, Edgerton emphasized that although his team must improve, he has been encouraged by the effort from his players.
“We don’t have a lot of (players), so (our players) have to work hard as a team,” Edgerton said. They work hard for each other.”
Now 1-2-0 on the season, M-CHS will look to pick up a win when it takes its home field against Alamosa on March 30. The contest is scheduled for 4 p.m.