Titans topple Telluride, advance in 3A playoffs
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
PEACH VALLEY, Colorado – Coal Ridge girls soccer teammates Kelsey Fauser and Alicia Cokley work well together. So, when Fauser heard Cokley’s voice calling for the ball during Wednesday’s Class 3A playoff game against Telluride, she knew exactly what to do.
“She just talks so well with me,” Fauser said. “I knew she was right in front of me. I heard her voice and kicked it towards her. She was just right there, and it was just perfect.”
Receiving Fauser’s forward pass near the top of the 18-yard box, Cokley advanced the ball a bit and buried a shot.
“She split it right through and I rolled it right where I wanted it to go,” Cokley said. “It was a perfect pass.”
The senior’s 49th-minute strike was all the Titans would need in Wednesday’s playoff opener. With its defense and goalkeeper Ciara Chacon diffusing every Miner threat down the stretch, Coal Ridge advanced to the second round with a 1-0 win.
Regardless, Titans coach Brian Blair’s satisfaction level wasn’t at an all-time high.
“I don’t think we changed our level to what it should be in the playoffs,” said Blair, whose squad has now won four straight first-round playoff games. “I feel like we played it like it was just another game and we did just enough to win. We have to have that killer instinct.
“You have to play above where you played the rest of the year if you’re going to have success in the playoffs.”
Fauser agreed. Too many promising opportunities went unfinished, she said.
“It’s been that way for us the whole season,” the junior said. “We just can’t get them in. Last year, we had trouble getting up to the goal. This year, we’ve had so many opportunities, but it’s just hard to get those balls in. With the team that we have right now, we’re going to work on it.”
Fauser did finish a goal in 26th minute. It just didn’t count. After sending a short chip shot into the far-post net, the referees waved the goal off because of an offside call.
“We figured if they called it, there’s a reason,” Fauser said.
No harm was done, though, as the Titans eventually got the goal they needed.
Next up for 13th-seeded Coal Ridge (12-1-3) is a Saturday trip to Colorado Springs to face No. 4 St. Mary’s (14-2) in the round of 16. St. Mary’s, owner of two of the last three 3A state titles, defeated Estes Park, 3-0, in the first round.
Telluride finished its season with an 11-3-2 record.
“We knew it was going to be a tough game, but we always feel, with soccer, anything can happen on any given day,” Miners coach Mick Hill said. “You can get a breakaway, put it away and, you know, anything can happen.”
Telluride certainly kept it close and interesting.
“It was a tough game,” Hill said. “I thought we gave them a run for their money.”
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