Rifle upset by young Palisade team | PostIndependent.com

Rifle upset by young Palisade team

Phil SandovalGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Phil Sandoval/Grand Junction Free Press

PALISADE – Rifle ran up against a young, hungry Palisade team in Thursday’s girls soccer opener, and despite goalkeeper Kadie LaRocque’s best effort, was denied a win.Senior Kirstee Bunting, one of Palisade’s lone veterans, scored the only goal in a 1-0 win over the visiting Bears.A young roster has created a new attitude for the Palisade girls soccer team.”Our whole outlook on soccer has changed,” Bunting said. “I think our younger girls is a good way to do it.”

The inclusion of five freshmen on the roster, at least for Thursday’s league game with Rifle, rejuvenated the Bulldogs.The task of keeping Rifle off the scoreboard fell on the newcomers, who came through every time a defensive stop was needed.Freshman goalkeeper Amelia Davis made a key stop on Bears forward Chelsea Webb in the first half to keep the game scoreless.The Bulldogs had four strong scoring chances in the opening 10 minutes of the second half. Palisade came away empty on each attempt – they were facing one of the Western Slope League’s best goalies in LaRocque.

The Bear goalie nabbed Lindsey Yaetes’ corner kick to stop one drive. A minute later, LaRocque had to come out of the goalie box to make a diving snuff on Brittany Combs, who had slipped past Rifle’s defense unguarded.A possession later, LaRocque turned aside shots by Lexie Russell and a second attempt by Combs, to keep the game scoreless.Then Palisade appeared to get a break.Megan Bosch tucked a ball inside the low, right-hand corner for a score after a Rifle foul. But the goal was disallowed because a player cannot score on an indirect kick.

The Bulldogs took an additional 14 minutes of play to break the deadlock. Bunting took care of that matter by slipping a ground-hugging low roller to the right post in the 64th minute.”I always try to aim for the corners against taller and bigger goalies,” Bunting said. “And that’s where it fell this time. I totally appreciate (La LaRocque) because she’s one of the best goalkeepers I go against.”Davis maintained the shutout with a stop on a Webb free kick which skimmed over the Bulldogs defensive wall with seven minutes left.”This was extremely gratifying,” Palisade coach Luann Ehlers said of the win. “The girls have been working harder than any of our teams ever have. This was a nice treat for them.”

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