The Pirates picked up a big 9-0 win against the Center Vikings on Tuesday, bouncing back after a 3-0 loss against the Telluride Miners last Friday and another 3-0 loss at the hands of the Ridgway Demons on Saturday.
Both losses last weekend were “home” games that took place in Cortez, moved due to snow in Pagosa Springs.
On Friday, the Pirates kept up a tough defense in the first half, holding the Miners scoreless. Unfortunately, the follow-up wasn’t there as the defense allowed Telluride’s middle to break through and score three goals in the second, ending the game with a 3-0 victory over Pagosa.
“We kind of fell apart defensively in the second half,” said Pirate head coach Lindsey Kurt-Mason, “and we couldn’t get our offense creative enough to make our attack.
“Brooklyn (DuCharme, credited with 24 saves) had an incredible game as keeper,” Kurt-Mason added. “She had an incredible weekend.”
After travelling to Cortez on Friday, the Pirates had to return home only to make the same trip on Saturday, making for a very tired team that morning that was expected to face the Demons.
“We were just flat,” Kurt-Mason said regarding his team’s performance going into Saturday morning’s game. With Ridgway scoring at 10 minutes and 17 minutes into the game, the Pirates found themselves down 2-0 at the end of the half.
A little stronger on defense in the second half, the Pirates allowed a point only because a Ridgway corner kick took a Demon bounce into the net at 65 minutes into the game, leading to the only score in the second and a 3-0 loss for Pagosa.
DuCharme logged five saves, a testament to an improved Pirate defense.
“We played better in the second half,” Kurt-Mason said. “We just made some defensive mistakes and had a lot of disorganization on offense.
“The upside is, a lot of freshmen got a lot of play time and you could see a tremendous amount of improvement as far as them seeing where they needed to be,” Kurt-Mason added.
Away in Center on Tuesday, Kurt-Mason said he had a plan for the game that didn’t gel until late in the second half.
“I told the girls that our main goal was to make passes and to build some width and depth in our attack, that making goals would be secondary,” Kurt-Mason said. “It pretty much took the whole game to get there.”
Indeed, the Pirates focused on scoring, while appearing to forget Kurt-Mason’s charge. With Lauren Greer, Maddy Davey and Anissa Lucero all scoring, the Pirates were up 3-0 at the end of the first but not showing the kind of cohesion their coach was seeking.
“Center is a good team, they held us to 2-0 for a long time,” Kurt-Mason said. “They (the Pirates) didn’t build the attack the way they should.”
The Pirate offense exploded again in the second, with Davey completing a hat trick, a pair of goals coming from Katie Blue, and singles coming from Lucero (who also logged eight assists), Greer and Johanna Laverty, all adding up to a 9-0 victory for the Pirates.
However, it was in the final minutes where Kurt-Mason saw his team stepping up to the kind of play he’s asked for at the start of the game.
“I think it was a step up to the next level,” he said.
This past week’s games put the Pirates at 1-4 for the season and 1-2 for 3A Region 5 soccer.
The Pirates host Center Tuesday for a rematch against the Vikings at 4 p.m.
“The girls are pretty pumped,” Kurt-Mason said. “You know they are when they ask to practice on Saturday. That always happens on a win, they don’t ask for an extra practice after they lose. They’re really coming together as a team.
“They’re stepping in the right direction.”