Central’s kickers top Titans
GRAND JUNCTION – A strong half against Class 5A Central is a indication how much Coal Ridge has improved in the two years the school has fielded a girls soccer team.Audrey Asplund scored in the 6th minute, and the Titans held a 1-0 lead up until the latter part of the first half – until the host Warriors found their shooting touch.Kaselyn Butters knocked in a rebound to the far post after teammate Haleigh Higgins hit the near post in the 29th minute. The freshman’s goal tied the game, and sparked Central’s offense into high gear.
Higgins made up for missing the first chance by pushing a shot by Titans goalie Vanessa Hinojos in the 47th minute for what turned out to be the game-decider in a 3-1 decision.The defeat evened the Titans’ season record to 1-1.Higgins’ missed opportunity opened the door for teammate Kaselyn Butters.
“That (first) goal was a wake-up call to our midfield that we had to watch and counter what they were doing,” said Central coach Larry Johnson. The Warriors defense got the message. “We wanted to put them under a little duress and pressure,” Johnson said of a defensive lineup of three versus four players they featured in Monday’s 3-2 overtime win at Montrose. “We wanted to see how they would handle that, considering how young we are back there.”
It took a little time for the defense to adjust to the new alignment. Moore helped by denying Asplund twice in the final moments of the first half. She made a diving save to the far post on a breakaway, then followed up by snaring a second try from Asplund on her knees in the penalty area.Coal Ridge finished the game with only four shots on goal. Still, it was a rough day for Moore.The sophomore’s one save – on a hard-charging Chelsie Ryan – resulted in a collision between the Coal Ridge forward and Moore, which forced the Warrior netminder to the bench for a couple of minutes before reentering for the rest of the game.Stacy Kinnett of the Warriors added the insurance goal when she blasted home a rebound off a Hinojos save.
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The Coal Ridge High School boys and girls basketball teams will both be home Tuesday night to open the Class 3A state basketball tournament.