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Despite loss, Pirates play well against Durango

Unable to reconcile a technical loss to the Crested Butte Titans on Sept. 26 (a tie was ruled a loss after a player eligibility violation), the Pirate soccer team lost 3-2 in Crested Butte last Saturday, dropping to 1-5 in conference play. And, despite an impressive effort against the 5A Durango Demons JV (a team that had not been scored on all season), the Pirates lost 3-2 Tuesday, dropping to a 5-7 overall for the season.

Outgunned by Crested Butte 2-0 in during the first half, the Pirates were unable to capitalize on any scoring opportunities. However, during the second half, it appeared the Pirates would come back and take their revenge on Crested Butte. At about 10 minutes into the half, Lars Schneider took a gift from a Titan defender when, after it was thrown in from the sidelines, the ball deflected off the defender and into the Titan goal. Four minutes later, Matt Fisher placed a corner kick to Diego Gutierrez, who headed the ball into the net, tying the game at 2-2.

The game remained a tie for the next 20 minutes, with Pirate and Titan defenders facing a pitched battle against hard-fought offensive play. However, with five minutes left, Crested Butte managed to score off the corner, sending Pagosa home with the 3-2 loss.

On Tuesday afternoon, the Pirates hosted the Durango Demons JV team in what coach Lindsey Kurt-Mason said was, “By far, one of the best team efforts we have put together this year,” adding, “our attack came from everyone.”

Coming into the game unscored on this season, the Demons were unprepared for the combined attack by the Searle brothers (senior Ryan and sophomore Riley). After they scored a goal at 14 minutes, 30 seconds into the game, the Demons saw their record fall when Ryan Searle scored on a shot 17:36 into the period. However, another Durango goal late in the period gave the Demons a 2-1 advantage at the end of the half.

Just 30 seconds into the second half, Pagosa scored again, when the Searle brothers combo resulted in an impressive cross and a one-touch rocket from Riley into the back of the Durango net.

“Ryan had one of the best games of his career here at Pagosa Springs High School,” said Kurt-Mason. “His aggressive play in the midfield resulted in one of the most beautiful, spectacular goals of the season.”

Holding to a tie for the bulk of the final half, the Demons were finally able to overcome the Pirates with a late-game shot, taking the game with a 3-2 victory.

Despite the loss, Kurt-Mason was pleased with his team’s performance, saying, “Durango had not been scored on this season. If you look at their shots on goal, they had very few — seven total. That says a lot for our team when you consider Durango had been averaging seven goals a game.”

“A very physical, a very fast well-played game by both teams,” the coach added. “A good tune-up for the weekend. I can’t say enough about the Searle boys.”

The Pirates host the Ridgway Demons at 11 a.m. Saturday at Golden Peaks Stadium, hoping to get revenge for a 2-0 loss to the Demons Sept. 11 in Ridgway.

jim@pagosasun.com