Coal Ridge holds on to beat scrappy Oysters
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
PEACH VALLEY, Colorado – Satisfaction wasn’t Coal Ridge boys soccer coach Brian Blair’s go-to emotion on Tuesday.
Some coaches subscribe to the notion that a win’s a win, however it comes. Not Blair.
His Titans held on for a 1-0 win over visiting Colorado Rocky Mountain School on a warm fall afternoon in Peach Valley, but Blair didn’t take solace in merely sneaking past the scrappy Oysters.
“They worked harder than us,” the veteran coach said. “They worked harder than us on every part of the field.”
“We didn’t play the best soccer,” Titans sophomore Jorge Hernandez said. “I think we could have done a lot better. It just showed on the field. We could have gotten more goals if we had more passing.”
Expectations are high at Coal Ridge these days. At 12-0, the Titans are currently atop the 3A Region 3 standings. They also own the No. 5 spot in Class 3A in the Denver Post’s latest rankings.
With a pesky defense and stingy effort from goalkeeper Alex Henderson, CRMS kept the powerhouse Titans off the board much of the day.
Coal Ridge dominated possession and regularly put shots on goal. Second-chance opportunities were infrequent, though. That had a lot to do with a defense that did everything in its power to play balls out of danger.
“Everybody on their team worked harder than everybody on our team,” Blair reiterated. “I can’t explain that. I don’t know why. I didn’t really like most of the body language. It wasn’t like, ‘Let’s pick it up. Let’s go!’ It was more, ‘It’s not our day. We’re not doing well.’ It was just get through the 40 minutes of the second half and get to practice tomorrow.”
The Titans did find the net once, and that proved to be all they’d need.
Just before halftime, Alfonso Hernandez, working his way deep into the right corner, sent a cross to Jorge Hernandez, who nudged a point-blank shot into the net.
Coal Ridge put a flurry of shots on goal in the second half, but a series of sprawling saves by Henderson kept the Oysters close.
“Our keeper had a great game,” CRMS coach Dan Pittz said. “That was probably his best game of the season. He kept us in it for a long time.”
Unfortunately for the Oysters, they never could cultivate much offense of their own. Still, Pittz liked his team’s energy.
“We kind of came over a hump recently,” he said. “We had some team meetings and we changed our focus and got behind a common goal, which is good. It’s been showing on the field.”
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