Soccer team scores big win over Ignacio

Despite just a handful of local fans braving a cold, windy afternoon to cheer on the Pirate soccer team Tuesday, the Pagosa girls showed more promise than the weather, taking a big 6-0 win against the Ignacio Bobcats.

“We had a pretty solid mid-field game,” said Pirate Coach Lindsey Kurt-Mason.

Taking control of the game early, the Pirates forced the Bobcats back into their own end of the field to defend against a relentless Pagosa onslaught. Taking the leadoff goal at 3 minutes 45 seconds, sophomore Kassidy Smith took a center assist from freshman Natasha Medici and put a clean shot into the Ignacio net. Sophomore Erika Pitcher quickly followed up, at 11:12 into the game, with another clear shot that blazed past the hapless Bobcat goalie.

Exhibiting skillful ball control and expert passing, the Pirates continued hammering the Bobcats in the first half, taking a third goal 16:05 into the game with a chip shot by freshman Sydney Aragon. A little over two minutes later, sophomore Michelle Church scored a fourth goal for the Pirates, sending the Pirates to the end of the half with a 4-0 lead.

Hitting Ignacio hard with a powerhouse offense, the Pirates were no less effective on defense. Intercepting Bobcat passes and stopping drives prior to mid-field, the Pirates prevented any drive at their goal and Ignacio didn’t get a shot at the Pagosa goal until 35:16 into the half.

With JV players in for some field time during the second half, Kurt-Mason gave the Bobcats a chance to catch up while allowing sophomore Pirate goalie Alyssa Laydon a chance to get her hands on the ball. However, with just one save credited for the entire game, it was clear that both varsity and JV Pirates did an excellent job on defense in both halves of the match.

“You don’t want to rub it in and score too many goals,” Kurt-Mason said, “so I made the girls pass it back and forth at least ten times before taking a shot on the goal.”

Despite the ad-libbed passing drills and dropping some of the intensity exhibited in the first half, the Pirates held the advantage on the field and a goal at 3:50 into the period by sophomore Sydney Smith (with another Medici assist) widened the gap. A final goal by sophomore Nicole Hunt 27:20 into the half cinched up the victory for Pagosa, giving the Pirates their first win of the season.

Kurt-Mason, pleased with the win, said, “They’re using their heads more, both in action in the game and mentally.”

With the team scoring more points in a single game than were scored in all games combined this season (6-4), Pirate fans and players may wish that points scored in the Ignacio game had been divvied up and spread out across previous games. Hopefully, the Pirates bottled up what they brought on the field against the Bobcats and will uncork their new-found brand of whup against the Alamosa Mean Moose today. The Pirates host Alamosa at Golden Peaks Stadium at 4 p.m. and, despite a forecast of wintery weather, perhaps more local fans will be there to cheer the girls on.

“They’re a 4A school, so we have our work cut out for us,” said Kurt-Mason regarding Alamosa, “But it’s exciting to watch our girls improve and they’ve improved with every game.”

jim@pagosasun.com