PEACH VALLEY— Coal Ridge High School’s girls soccer team started and finished strong on Tuesday, as the Titans took an early lead and built on it on their way to a 3-1 victory over Grand Valley in a match between two of the Class 3A Western Slope League’s top teams.
The Titans (6-0-0 overall, 2-0-0 3A WSL), who won the league title last year, held a two-goal lead for much of the match. The Cardinals (1-2-0, 1-1-0), however, threatened Coal Ridge enough to come within striking distance near halftime.
That’s when the Titans pulled away.
“The girls played well, and in the second half we created more opportunities, ending with a quality win,” Coal Ridge coach Micah Herron said. “[Grand Valley] came out ready to play, overall they possessed the ball well, used their speed up top and had a strong defensive line up.”
Coal Ridge struck first, though.
Within the first five minutes, the Titans’ Nicole Mooney scored for a 1-0 Coal Ridge cushion. But the Cardinals managed to keep the Titans on their feet, as Grand Valley’s back defensive line attempted to limit the Titans’ shots on goal despite their advances on Cardinals goalkeeper Erin Schuckers.
But that didn’t keep the Titans from taking plenty of shots on goal. They broke through the Grand Valley defense after 22 minutes, when Paige Ryan scored outside the 18-yard box, putting them ahead, 2-0. Grand Valley answered the last 5 minutes of the first half, however, when Lauren Paskett scored off an assist from Kyra Chenoweth.
“I am very pleased with this game, overall it was a good loss,” Grand Valley coach Scott Gregory said. “Our defense did really well and I am very pleased with the offensive goal Kyra and Lauren set up.”
At 53 minutes, however, Coal Ridge fired up its offense again. Ryan took a shot that bounced off the goal post, but Mooney followed with the rebound and scored the final goal of the game.
“This game was fun and everyone just kept pushing,” Mooney said. “We played a better second half and managed to hold possession almost the entire half.”