Second-half outburst propels Coal Ridge to victory

Jeff Caspersen
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Kelley Cox Post Independent

CARBONDALE, Colorado – Roaring Fork girls soccer coach John Ackerman loves playing upper-echelon teams.

In playing host to Coal Ridge on Tuesday, the Rams had the chance to do just that. And, for the better part of a half, Ackerman’s Rams held their own against the Titans.

“We love playing them,” Ackerman said. “We kind of have that feeling we’re underdogs coming in, which is kind of fun. Anything can happen if you go out there and play your hardest.”

There would be no big upset on Tuesday, though.

Roaring Fork did manage to keep 8-0-1 Coal Ridge off the board for the first 17 minutes of Tuesday’s 3A Western Slope League showdown. The young Rams were putting shots on goal here and there and kept Coal Ridge’s explosive offense from wreaking too much havoc.

But the quick-strike Titans, perhaps a bit sapped from an emotional win over Basalt on Saturday, would awaken. In a big way.

Coal Ridge put a goal on the board just before halftime and struck for another four minutes into the second half. Then came a string of four goals in a span of 7 minutes, 11 seconds – a stretch covering the 57th through 64th minutes – to put the game well out of reach.

The end result: a 7-0 win for the league-leading Titans.

“I think we came out the first half showing a little bit of tired legs, a lack of purpose,” Coal Ridge coach Brian Blair said. “We were a little flat-footed and weren’t aggressive. The second half, though, our girls really picked it up and started to control the game.”

The Titans still managed to finish a couple goals in that first half.

Sydney Wright broke the ice by tapping home a cross from teammate Ashlie Bowles, who came up with a steal near Roaring Fork’s net and sent a pass Wright’s way.

Audrey Asplund scored next, converting a well-struck cross from teammate Alicia Cokley.

Cokley’s generosity would be rewarded in the second half, as Wright and Brianna Rhodes assisted Cokley on a pair of goals to open the second half.

“At halftime, we just said, ‘We need to play at our level and wake up,'” Cokley said.

Goals by Kayli Hunter, Jill Refior and Amanda Yost followed as the Titans put the finishing touches on yet another lopsided win. Coal Ridge is averaging nearly six goals a contest and has outscored opponents 53-0 so far in 2010.

Next up for the Titans is a Thursday trip to Aspen, which has just one league loss on its ledger.

“We haven’t played them yet, and we haven’t watched them,” Cokley said. “They’re one of the better teams in the league, I think. It’ll be a challenge.”

On deck for Roaring Fork, which fell to 4-6-0 overall with the loss, is a home date with Vail Christian on Thursday.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.