The Pagosa Springs High School soccer team lost a key player Saturday, but still managed to end the weekend with a win and a loss.
Facing off against Telluride Friday, the Pirates struck early on a course of events that started with a throw in.
Two minutes in, Will Brown threw the ball in to Lars Schneider in the corner, who crossed it to a sliding Sully Smith, who pushed the ball to the back of the net.
Not long after, 15 minutes into play, Schneider and Brown connected on a second goal.
“Lars has turned into a real striker,” Coach Lindsey Kurt-Mason said, highlighting Schneider’s ability to turn the ball and find ways to shoot.
Twenty-one minutes into the contest, Schneider struck off an assist by Riley Searle, giving the Pirates a 3-0 lead.
Following a Telluride goal on a penalty kick, Pagosa resumed their offensive ways, with Schneider’s solo shot in the 32nd minute ending the half’s scoring, with the Pirates leading 4-1.
“The key was we were winning 50/50 balls,” Kurt-Mason said.
In the second half, Telluride looked to be making a comeback, scoring two goals within 14 minutes and bringing the score to 4-3.
Not content with Telluride’s goals, the Pirates were able to pad their lead when Jacob Ormonde headed in a corner kick by Searle in the 23rd minute.
Schneider then stepped in to add another insurance goal and polish off his hat trick with another solo run on the goal, ending the Pirates’ goal tally at six.
Goalkeeper Zerek Jones recorded three saves on the day.
“(It was) great to beat Telluride in Telluride — silence the crowd,” Kurt-Mason said. “The guys were psyched, had that look in their eyes. They were going to win.”
The next day, the Pirates took on Ridgway in Ridgway, looking to extend their win streak to five.
Five minutes into the contest, Schneider scored on a pass from Dean Hampton, when he was able to turn on a defender and score from 15 yards out.
Pagosa continued to hold possession throughout the rest of the first half, notching six shots on goal, but were unable to move the ball past the Ridgway goalie in the remainder of the half.
Ridgway evened the score in the second half, scoring in the 65th minute and injuring Schneider on the play — taking Schneider’s feet out from under him and causing a season-ending, third-degree shoulder separation.
In a three-minute span, three Pirates were injured and forced to leave the game, with Schneider leading the way. Jones was also injured on the goal, unbeknownst to Kurt-Mason, and stayed in the game. Ormonde followed suit, injuring his hip and leaving the game.
Around the 68th minute, Jones saved a ball with one arm, letting Kurt-Mason know he was injured, at which point Silas Thompson replaced Jones in goal.
Amidst all the injuries, Ridgeway was able to finish the game with a 2-1 lead with what Kurt-Mason called “hard luck.”
“To play a team like that, you need to keep possession on the ground. When the ball is in the air, people get hurt,” Kurt-Mason said.
The Pirates will look to rebound from the injuries and the loss Thursday in Bayfield before welcoming Alamosa to Golden Peaks Stadium for “a key game” that doubles as the Pirates’ final home game of the regular season.