Quick goal sets pace for Titans
PEACH VALLEY — Not even running in a track meet an hour down Interstate 70 earlier in the day could stop the Coal Ridge High School girls soccer team on Friday.
Jenny Call’s goal just four minutes into the game against The Pinnacle set the tone for the sixth-seeded Titans, who dominated much of the game and advanced to the second round of the Class 3A state playoffs with a 3-0 victory at The Pasture.
“Score in the first five,” Call recounted of the Titans’ philosophy in each game they play. “Some of my teammates and I ran in the 4×800 [relay] barely in time to get to the game, and a lot of our teammates got here barely in time to warm up.
“I think all of the stuff we’ve done all year with track and soccer has helped us a lot,” she continued. “A lot of us are tired, but that’s going to come from any week of training.”
One player who wasn’t on the field was senior Paige Ryan, the team’s leading scorer with 26 goals. She had just won the long jump at the Class 3A Western Slope Championships in Grand Junction earlier in the day with a leap of 17 feet, 9 inches, but was held out of the soccer game for a precautionary measure.
Coal Ridge (15-1-0) had enough offensive firepower without her, though, finishing with a 21-1 advantage in total shots. The Titans were also able to limit The Pinnacle (12-4-0) defensively, turning away some breakaway opportunities the Timberwolves had in the first half.
The Titans move into the second round to play Grand Valley, a 3-1 winner over Front Range Christian earlier in the day. Game time is scheduled for 4 p.m. today at the Coal Ridge High soccer field.
“I think the big thing for us is to play with our heads and not necessarily our hearts,” said Coal Ridge coach Micah Herron in reference to the emotion surrounding the rivalry between the teams. “The rivalry adds to the game and makes it more exciting. But I think that if we can stay level-headed and remain consistent, that will make a difference for us.”
The Titans took a 1-0 lead into halftime, then added on to it in the 62nd minute with Mariela Martinez punched a goal into the net off a rebounded shot from Aileen Galaviz-Vega. And in the 69th minute, senior Amanda Wenzel, who will play soccer for Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction in the fall, weaved her way through the Timberwolves’ defense and scored with a shot that reached the far-left corner of the net from the right side of the goal box.
The Timberwolves, who only had two seniors on their roster, got seven saves from sophomore goalkeeper Sahara Hardin.
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