Mooney’s OT goal gives Titans 3A WSL title
It might have taken a year, but the Coal Ridge Titans girls soccer team finally vanquished the Vail Mountain Gore Rangers when it mattered most, winning 3-2 in overtime Wednesday to win the 3A/2A Western Slope League championship.
One year after losing a heartbreaking 2-1 decision to the Gore Rangers, the Titans bounced back in a big way at “The Pasture” to conquer the mountain of the 3A/2A WSL.
Behind a first-half goal from junior Kaitlyn Harlow, the Titans held a 1-0 lead at the half, but the Gore Rangers responded quickly to start the second half, scoring two quick goals to take a 2-1 lead.
“They really worked us,” Coal Ridge head coach Damon Martinez said. “They controlled possession and took things to us and it really showed in the second half. But we were able to gather ourselves and put a ton of pressure on them after their second goal. The pressure really ramped up towards the end.”
With nearly four minutes added to the game in stoppage time, senior Shelby Koether banged home an outside shot to tie the game at 2-2, forcing a dramatic overtime for the league crown.
In overtime, junior Nicole Mooney blasted her trademark shot from just over 25 yards out that sailed past the outstretched arms of the Vail Mountain keeper, giving the Titans a 3-2 win and the overall league championship.
“The girls really gathered themselves and took over down the stretch,” Martinez said. “We’re just very excited. Last year as a parent it was heartbreaking to watch the girls lose 2-1, so it was hard to contain myself when Nicole scored to win it. These girls have worked so hard. We changed systems this year and the girls never complained. We struggled early, but we really became a tough team to play as the season went on, and they came through in a big way today.”
With the win, the Titans will now await their Colorado High School Activities Association playoff fates, which will be announced Sunday afternoon. Thanks to the overall league title the Titans have a great shot at finishing in the top eight of 3A, giving them a chance to host a playoff game at home.
BEARS PULL OUT WIN OVER BULLDOGS
With a team made up of roughly half varsity and half junior varsity, the Rifle Bears girls soccer team came through with a 3-2 win Wednesday over the Moffat County Bulldogs, putting the Bears on a two-game winning streak.
In the win against the Bulldogs, sophomore Dulce Toscano, junior Jessica Bracamontes and senior Cindy Pelaez netted goals for the Bears.
Toscano’s goal came just after halftime with the Bears trailing 1-0. The sophomore crossed the ball into the box, where it caromed off of a Moffat County defender into the net, knotting the game up at 1-1.
Bracamontes gave the Bears their second goal on a long shot from outside of the box that sailed just past the leaping Moffat keeper.
Then, just over a minute into overtime Pelaez took a bad-angled shot that sailed into the net over the keeper’s head, giving Rifle the 3-2 win.
“It wasn’t a pretty game by any stretch,” Rifle head coach Richard Carter said. “We had to pull up five JV girls, so we weren’t our usual hard-hitting team. But I had a lot of confidence in a lot of our players since we had to play a lot of girls out of position. Luckily we pulled it out.”
With the win, Rifle improves to 4-9-1 overall on the year. The Bears will close out the regular season Thursday on the road against Summit at 4 p.m
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Maya Lindgren had always considered herself “more of a softball girl,” until she started getting some serious looks on the basketball court during her junior season at Roaring Fork High School last year.