Coal Ridge Titans battle to 0-0 tie with Rangely
PEACH VALLEY – To Coal Ridge and Rangely – both young, maturing teams – Saturday’s 0-0 overtime tie is not viewed at as a stalemate. Rather, it’s a sign that newbies to varsity-level girls soccer are starting to understand the game.”Our girls played awesome today. I was proud of them and the way they played,” said Titans head coach Sean McElroy.The tie evened Coal Ridge’s seasonal record at 1-1-1. All three of the Titans’ matches have been against league opponents.Both squads, loaded with freshmen and sophomores, looked tentative at times and just missed connecting on scoring opportunities.The goals will come in time, McElroy mentioned. What pleased the coach most is the Titans are starting to know what to do when something on the field doesn’t work. Rangely held the ball in the Titans end for most of the first half, taking quality shots at Coal Ridge goalie Vanessa Hinojos.Panther forward Hannah Walz was one player the Titans seemingly couldn’t figure out how to defend. The sophomore had three of Rangely’s four shots on goal in the opening 40 minutes of action, along with creating two other strong scoring chances.All three misconnected – barely.Two Walz cross-field passes to the far post whizzed a eyelash beyond her teammates. Then, left unmarked in the 31st minute, Walz, in the middle of the field with just Hinojos to beat – was inches high of beating the Titans’ goalie inside the crossbar.Coal Ridge had the same type of frustration.In the 19th minute, Panther goalie Kirstin Cushman smothered Titan forward Patricia Jewkes’ shot to stall a promising drive. Then, the rebound off the miss went too far for teammate Nalini Blanco to make a play on.Erica Ruiz had a clear shot on goal with no Rangely defender in sight nine minutes into the second half. Her shot went wide of the far post.With five minutes left in regulation, three Coal Ridge players failed to control a bounding ball in Rangely’s penalty area for a shot on goal.In overtime, both teams – with their energy drained by the sun and Coal Ridge’s wide field – managed three weak shots on goal between them in the extra 10 minutes of play.Coal Ridge continues its soccer education with a home match against a team with more game experience in Vail Mountain School Tuesday.
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