Coal Ridge concludes home soccer season with win
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
PEACH VALLEY, Colorado ” A disappointing season was forgotten for one night on Monday when the Coal Ridge Titans took to their home field for the final time this season and sent their seniors off with a 3-1 win over Colorado Rocky Mountain School.
The two teams entered the contest having had a rough go of it with their seasons winding down. Coal Ridge (2-8 league, 3-10 overall) in particular has battled through some injuries and ineligibilities over the course of the tumultuous season.
“Getting a win today was really nice, especially when they’ve been kinda rare,” Coal Ridge head coach Brian Blair said. “The guys played really well today. They moved the ball around the way I like them to.”
The Titans were able to secure just their third win all season by playing solid defense, moving the ball around efficiently and capitalizing on their good looks. Despite the Oysters getting on the board first, the Titans kept at it, and before long the score was tied at one apiece.
CRMS took the early advantage when Matthew Myers deposited a gift of a rebound into the corner of the net. It was set up by a corner kick that the Titans keeper was unable to gather in, and Robin Ruddell’s shot was knocked away by a Titans defender right to the waiting foot of Myers.
Just seven minutes later, however, the Titans were able to answer back when some nice passing finally found a streaking Eric Schmitz who carried the ball all the way from about 40 yards out on the far side until he eluded his defender in the goal box and beat the CRMS keeper on the near side of the net in the 24th minute.
Coal Ridge broke the tie as time elapsed in the first half when Lee Wentzel took a nice cross from teammate Dylan Cook just inside the goal box and beat the CRMS keeper rather easily in the 36th minute.
CRMS (2-6-1 league and overall) trailed 2-1 at the half despite out shooting the Titans 5-2 in shots-on-goal. In the early going, the Oysters had the home team on their heels but never were quite able to put together the passes needed to generate a good look at the goal.
Neither team was able to do much in the second half until Ryan Zelenka scored about one minute into stoppage time to put the game away. This time the Titans controlled the possession for the majority of the half and it paid huge dividends as they gave their senior teammates a night to remember.
For the CRMS Oysters it was a disappointing loss that saw them drop further in the 3A Western Slope League (District 7) rankings, ever closer to the cellar.
“We just lacked the intensity today, our minds were elsewhere,” CRMS head coach Dan Pittz said. “Mondays, you know? They just outplayed us on the individual balls and seemed to want it more.”
The Titans travel to Roaring Fork on Thursday and then take on Aspen Tuesday as they conclude their season. Meanwhile, CRMS travels to Aspen on Wednesday before returning home to face Vail Mountain on Monday.
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After losing the 3A Western Slope League race in a tough, five-set loss to Basalt on April 15, the Coal Ridge High volleyball team finds its playoff fate partly out of its own hands.