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Pirate soccer season ends with playoff loss

The Pirates’ season ended last Wednesday in Colorado Springs during the first round of the state 3A girls’ soccer playoffs, falling 3-0 to the Colorado Springs Christian Lions.

Carried on the back of Emily Keller’s offensive prowess (two goals and an assist on the third point), the Lions managed to overwhelm Pagosa’s defensive line, while also taking advantage of some nasty Colorado Springs weather that combined snow and rain with high winds. On the other hand, the Pirates were out a key player who had been neutralized the previous week with a dirty shot by a Telluride Miner player.

“We definitely missed Kassidy (Smith) in that game,” coach Lindsey Kurt-Mason explained. “We basically didn’t have a mid-field.”

Unfortunately, two quick goals at the end of the game by the Lions ended the Pirates post-season chances.

“The wind basically won that game,” Kurt-Mason said. “We lost the toss and they got the wind.”

Nicoll Hunt led the team with four shots on goal while keeper Alyssa Laydon logged 10 saves.

On Monday, Pirates were recognized by conference coaches for the Region 5 Mountain league. Senior Kassidy Smith was honored as All Conference and league Player of the Year, logging three goals and six assists this season. With his player holding a 4.0 GPA at Pagosa Springs High School, Kurt-Mason said, “Kassidy can play any position on the field and she is a quiet leader, quite humble.”

Smith’s twin sister, Sydney, was also named All Conference with nine goals and 16 assists during the season. Of Sydney, who is likewise pulling a 4.0 GPA at PSHS, Kurt-Mason said, “She can also play any position on the field and is also quiet and humble.”

Senior Laydon was also named All Conference as goal keeper, credited with 1.22 Goals Against Average and save percentage of .860 this season. Of Laydon, who is going on to play at Kansas State in the fall, Kurt-Mason said, “She was an inspiration to the team, the voice in the back.”

Honorable Mentions included senior Hunt who was credited with 12 goals and four assists this season; she will go on to play at Mesa State in the fall. Sophomore Katie Blue was credited with nine goals and six assists this season. “She does not quit,” Kurt-Mason said of Blue. “She gives one hundred percent at all training sessions as well as games. She lost her mother this year to Huntington’s Chorea. The team was her family.”

Senior Erika Pitcher was honored as the league’s Sportsman of the Year.

Although the Pirates are graduating seven players this year, next season shows promise with exceptional depth, especially amongst sophomores and freshman. Hopefully, the team will be able to repeat this year’s performance, moving up to make the playoffs.

jim@pagosasun.com

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