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Soccer team wins two, moves into third place

Edging into third place in conference standings, the Pirates improved their overall record to 7-5 with a big 10-0 win over the Center Vikings last Friday and a 6-0 victory over the Ignacio Bobcats on Tuesday.

If the Pirates can hold third-place during the next week, they will extend their season with a spot in the state playoffs.

With a brisk, chilly wind greeting the Center visitors last Friday, the Pirates had no problem fending off a Viking attack, scoring five goals each half, while not allowing a single Center goal. In fact, the Pirates effortlessly matched a previous 10-0 win over Center on April 10.

“We spread the ball quite well and dominated both halves,” said coach Lindsey Kurt-Mason.

Team captain Natalie Erickson scored her first hat trick of the year, leading the team to an easy victory over Center. Less than five minutes into the game, Sydney Smith started the Pirate’s onslaught with a quick goal. Her score was quickly followed up by Erickson’s first score.

After a brief offensive lull, the Pirates capitalized again on a sleepy Center defense when Natasha Medici scored with a little over 12 minutes left in the half. Erickson took her second goal with three and a half minutes left, followed by Katie Blue, closing the half on the Pirates fifth goal with 2:31 left.

Unrelenting, the Pirates opened the second half with a score by Breezy Bryant, followed by Erickson’s final score at the 34:35 mark. Smith took her second goal of the game with 34:35 left, followed by Lauren Greer at 22:30 and Micaela Greer moved the Pirates into double digits, taking the final goal of the game.

Given little chance to get close to the Pirates’ net, the Vikings had few shooting opportunities, and Pirate goaltenders Alyssa Laydon and Angie Gallegos logged just two saves and a single save, respectively.

The Pirates returned to Golden Peaks stadium on Tuesday, playing in much friendlier weather, but with no less ferocity than they had exhibited on Friday. With a tenacious defense and a relentless offense, the Pirates gave no quarter, matching scores in both halves, schooling a team that the Pirates had defeated 9-0 on March 23.

“We missed Erika Pitcher with a sprain,” said Kurt-Mason. “Sydney Smith really stepped up in the mid-field and attacked into the offensive third.”

Taking two shots on the Viking’s goal early in the game, Bryant finally scored 5:10 into the game. Erickson capitalized on a buffed block by the Viking’s goalie on a shot by Nicoll Hunt at the 15:20 mark, with Hunt coming back to get her goal with 13:22 left, putting the Pirates up 3-0 in the half.

Circulating his entire bench into the game during both halves, Kurt-Mason gave all his girls field time. At 29:45 into the half, Smith got into the Viking’s box and scored on a clean shot past the keeper. Erickson scored again with 17:05 left with a shot that bounced off the keeper’s fingers. With less than 10 minutes left in the game, Hunt scored again with a chip shot that flew into the net well above the goalie’s head, sewing up the game and handing the Pirates a 6-0 victory.

Again, a strong defense prevented any significant shots and Laydon did not log more than two saves for the game.

The Pirates hit the road this week with a couple of matches against conference rivals.

The next day, the Pirates travel to Ridgway for a rematch against the fourth-place Demons.

At 4 p.m. on Tuesday, the Pirates will host the Durango Demons JV squad for a rematch. Not a conference game, the Pirates will be looking to improve their overall record and get payback for a 1-0 loss to the Demons on April 17 in Durango.

jim@pagosasun.com