Bears stiff Delta for goals in 2-0 win |

Bears stiff Delta for goals in 2-0 win

Post Independent/Kara K. Pearson

RIFLE – One way to win a soccer game is to not let the other team have a shot on goal.That’s what the Rifle girls soccer team did, and it resulted in a victory as the Bears shut out Delta County, 2-0, on Thursday.”We saw a lot of good things today, and I think we are going in a good direction,” said Rifle head coach Tom Taucher. “Our defense played great. (Goalkeeper) Kadie (LaRocque) managed her box really well and her defense played well in front of her.”Shutting down the Panthers’ offense isn’t an easy thing to do, especially with forward Stephanie Spor playing. The sophomore has scored 20 of the team’s 31 goals this season.

“We wanted to focus on eliminating their offensive punch, which is No. 2 (Spor),” Taucher said. “And really she didn’t have any looks on goal, and if you look at statistics, I think that’s a rarity.”Chelsey Nepp scored the first goal for the Bears, capitalizing on a Lauren Schubert pass with 5:46 left in the first half.”It was off Schuby’s touch and someone’s before that – I just finished it,” Nepp said. “It was a team effort.”The game was scoreless for the net 45 minutes before Kimber Chapman dribbled the ball down the sideline and centered it to Schubert. Schubert dribbled to the right with three Panther defenders in pursuit and launched the ball off the right post and into the net.

“Lauren finished, but Kimber made a great play,” Taucher said.Delta’s defense tried hard to shut down the Bears by constantly pressing up, hoping to catch Rifle offsides. It worked six times in the game.”It was very frustrating, but what are you going to do?” Nepp said of Delta’s defense.Rifle beat it with crisp passes and good play from Caitlin Clay, Mindy Gonzales, Leah Feeley and Chelsea Webb.

“I thought we had good ideas. I thought Mindy and Chelsey (Nepp) had good games,” Taucher said. “We had good distribution from our center midfielders.”With the win, Rifle moves to 7-3-1 in the Western Slope League while Delta falls to 6-5-1 in the WSL. The Bears are currently in third, behind Steamboat Springs and Battle Mountain. With the top three teams in the league advancing to the playoffs, the Bears will hope to hold that spot with three games left in their schedule.Rifle will play the first of those three on Saturday when they host Battle Mountain at 11 a.m.”We’ve got Battle Mountain on Saturday, and I think that is a game we can go into and be competitive,” Taucher said. “We want to improve as a group and the standings will take care of themselves.”

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