While springtime in the Rockies means many things for many people — muddy boots, wild irises, bluebirds and winter storms out of the blue — few would think of soccer.
However, the Pagosa Springs Pirates were focused on just that this past weekend and, not to be shadowed by both the girls’ and boys’ basketball teams, ended up taking bookend victories for their season openers, with a 3-2 win in Salida against the Spartans last Friday and a 4-2 victory over the Buena Vista Demons in Salida Saturday.
With bone-chilling temperatures made fierce by 20 m.p.h. winds, the Pirates took a little time to warm up for their season opener. With the stands filled with cheering Spartan fans, the Pirates looked to fight an uphill battle.
Down 2-0 at the end of the first half, it appeared that the Pirates would leave the game with a loss. However, coming back strong in the second half with a tough defense and a quick offense, the Pirates managed to tie the score by the end of the period and, with a shot by Nicoll Hunt in the second five-minute overtime, took the game.
“We were moving the ball well, playing hard-nose defense and creative offense,” said coach Lindsey Kurt-Mason.
The next morning, after a congenial breakfast with Buena Vista players, the Pirates returned to Salida to face the Buena Vista Demons. With somewhat warmer weather to greet them, the Pagosa girls again rose to the occasion with a tenacious defense and an offense that clicked. With a hat trick by Hunt, the Pirates tamed the Demons with a 4-2 victory.
Kurt-Mason said that Erika Pitcher was selected player of the weekend. “She scored, she read the opponents like a book,” he said. “She transitioned from offense to defense and back again. She was entirely positive both on and off the field.”
Although too early to tell, the two opening victories portend well for the Pirates both in the league and in the division.
The Pirates are on the road again this week for a game in Cortez against the Panthers on Tuesday. The Pirates will play their home opener on Friday, March 19, at 4 p.m., hosting the Telluride Miners at Golden Peaks stadium.