Titans move closer to soccer playoffs, unveil mascot
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
PEACH VALLEY, Colorado ” Goalkeeper Vanessa Hinojos, honored alongside teammate Allysa Little on Coal Ridge’s first-ever girls soccer senior day, let her younger teammates do all the work on Thursday.
Hinojos touched the ball maybe four or five times ” only once to stop a shot-on-goal ” as the Titans polished off a 1-0 win over Rangely in their home regular-season finale.
“It’s amazing,” Hinojos, a member of 3-year-old Coal Ridge’s first senior class. “We have a great team. It’s been a privilege. I’m truly blessed.”
Sophomore Chelsie Ryan provided the Titans with their lone goal, a short-range punch-in amid a scrum in front of the net. That came 7 minutes and 5 seconds before halftime.
Weathering little pressure from Rangely the rest of the way, Coal Ridge held on for a much-needed win in the thick of a heated Class 3A Western Slope League playoff race.
And a big win it was for the Titans, who can now clinch a a playoff berth with a win at Roaring Fork on Tuesday. They can thank Basalt for that, which topped Aspen, 4-1, on Thursday to drop the Skiers (5-3-1 in the WSL) behind Coal Ridge (5-2-2 in the WSL) in the race for the league’s second and final playoff spot.
While Coal Ridge faces the Rams on Tuesday, Aspen is at Rangely. A Titan win or Skier loss would seal Coal Ridge’s first playoff appearance in school history.
As if senior day didn’t serve as motivation enough for the young Titans, running with a roster of mostly sophomores and juniors.
“You can’t get much more motivation than that,” second-year Coal Ridge coach Brian Blair said, “knowing a win would help us get in the playoffs and playing for our seniors. If you can’t get excited for that, you shouldn’t be playing the game.”
Hinojos and Little were treated to quite the outcome after asking their teammates to step it up and help extend the season.
“I’m speechless,” Little said. “We just said to win it for us. It’s our last game here. … We’re leaving a good legacy for Coal Ridge.”
As an aside to Thursday’s soccer theatrics, Coal Ridge unveiled its official Titan mascot at the game.
What did it look like?
A well-muscled Grizzly Adams look-a-like with a blue Titans jersey and a silver cape.
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The Coal Ridge High boys suffered their first 3A Western Slope League loss of the year Thursday night on the road at Gunnison, falling to the defending league champion Cowboys 65-45.