Pirates can’t crack Oysters
Post Independent Staff
CARBONDALE ” The Pirates came to Carbondale looking for a winning treasure Friday afternoon, but found nothing in the Oysters’ shell as Colorado Rocky Mountain School beat St. Mary’s 3-1 in the first round of the Class 3A Regional playoffs.
It has been years since the Oysters have been to the playoffs and they played like a team that wasn’t taking the opportunity for granted.
“We talked to some people that had played them before, but it is hard to prepare,” CRMS head coach A.O. Forbes said. “Our team plays with such passion ” that got us the win.”
Oyster forward Conner Bottomly dominated St. Mary’s defense with fancy footwork and constant pressure on Pirate keeper Sean Madden. Nine minutes into the game, Bottomly put the first point on the scoreboard with a sliding effort that soared just over the outstretched arms of Madden.
“(Bottomly) is absolutely amazing,” Forbes said. “He has great skills and a wonderful sense of the game. I think he is the best player in the league.”
Midway through the first half, St. Mary’s evened the score at 1-all when a free kick dropped in front of CRMS’ goal. Pirate forward Matt Johnson got a foot on it, directing it into the corner of the net and bringing St. Mary’s back in the game.
Noticing that Madden was having a hard time finding a handle on the ball, the Oysters started crashing the goal constantly, bombarding it for the chance to kick or head in a rebound. Madden deflected a few of the second-chance headers, while others sailed wide or high of the goal. Trying to hit the second timers in is a strategy that has worked in the Oysters’ favor lately.
“We tried it out the other night against Carbondale (Roaring Fork High School) and it seemed to work. So we are sticking with it,” Forbes said.
The Oysters regained control of the game with less than a minute remaining in the first stanza when Hank Myers followed a shot and slammed into the goal.
The Oysters tallied their final goal four minutes into the second frame, when the ball was kicked to the center of the field. Two CRMS forwards missed opportunities to put it in, but Sung Ho Kim took advantage of his chance and his goal was enough to seal the victory.
CRMS’ keeper John Reid had an impressive game, stopping 18 shots and clearing the ball to midfield almost every time he punted it. Madden finished the afternoon with 15 saves.
The Oysters now await word on who and where they will play next in next round off the Class 3A playoffs. The game will be on or before Oct. 29.
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The 50th Carbondale Mountain Fair last weekend included the 42nd running of the Mt. Sopris Runoff 14-miler and its companion 4-Mile Fair Run foot races after a one-year hiatus due to the pandemic.