Titan kickers torch outclassed Olathe team
PEACH VALLEY – One wouldn’t expect a soccer program in just its second year to beat up on anybody, but that’s exactly what Coal Ridge did to visiting Olathe on Saturday.Freshmen Patricia Jewkes posted a hat trick and Audrey Asplund and Chelsie Ryan scored two goals apiece in a 9-0 win for the Titans.”This is an excellent group,” Coal Ridge coach Brian Blair, in his first year at the program’s helm. “They work hard, they’re young and they listen.”Though the Titans (2-1) are fielding a team with no seniors – Coal Ridge has no senior class – it doesn’t show. What’s special about this group? Blair hazarded a hypothesis.
“We play about seven freshmen and start five. It’s just a young group, and they don’t have any fear,” he said. “They just go out there and expect that they can compete.”Coal Ridge wasted little time sticking it to Olathe on a soggy, chilly Saturday.Asplund broke the ice, rolling in a penalty kick to make it 1-0. Eleven minutes later, it was Ryan directing a long strike on net to deliver the Titans a 1-0 lead. Drew Simonson was credited with the assist. Jewkes added two late goals to build a 4-0 advantage heading into the break, taking a long pass from Nalini Blanco and surging ahead of the defense for a point-blank tally on one and jamming home a short-range shot on a cross from Emily Johnson on the second. Both came in the final three minutes of the half.From there, Coal Ridge shifted into cruise control, overwhelmingly controlling the possession battle and relentlessly pressuring the Olathe defense. Mirroring the day’s weather, the Titans poured it on in the second half.Johnson assisted Ryan on a goal, followed by a long tally by Samantha Wilson, a goal by Jill Refior off a well-placed pass from Erica Ruiz, a Ruiz-assisted goal by Asplund and a Jewkes breakaway strike to round out the ledger.”We tried to work on stuff that we don’t normally get to in practice,” said Jewkes, who along with her teammates used the comfortable lead to practice a few things. “We got some more passes down today when we were down on offense.”After his team’s sixth goal, Blair put into effect a six-pass rule, forcing his players to move the ball around at least six times before taking a shot. “We were getting them to work on getting the ball from one side to another,” he said. “We wanted to work on our passing.”With such a young team and so many freshmen contributing big minutes, Blair can’t help but be a tad overwhelmed with how quickly the Titans are jelling. “I’m a little surprised at how much success we’ve had,” he said. “When they came to practice I knew they got better, but they’re making strides at a faster pace than what I thought.”
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The Rifle and Glenwood Springs girls tangled on Tuesday night at Glenwood’s Chavez-Spencer Gymnasium in a 4A Western Slope League contest that carried major implications in the conference standings.