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Pirates earn second win at 10,100 feet

In a late addition to the schedule, the Pagosa Springs High School boys soccer team brought home its second win of the season at a tournament in Leadville Friday afternoon.

In the game, the Pirates defeated tournament host Lake County by a score of 2-0, improving their record to 2-0 and handing the Panthers their first loss to give that team a 2-1 record on the season.

After Center failed to field a team this season, thus canceling all games against the Vikings, the Pirates were able to enter into the tournament, which was played higher than 10,100 feet in elevation.

After a warm-up session at the rodeo grounds, the Pirates took to the artificial turf (a rare occurrence for the team), breaking out with two goals in the first half of the game.

The first of the goals came from the feet of James Berndt in the game’s 12th minute, with Connor Burkesmith scoring the team’s second goal in the 24th minute.

The team was held scoreless in the second half. Fortunately, the Pirates were able to hold Lake County scoreless throughout the entire game.

“It was probably the quickest team we’ve played in years,” coach Lindsey Kurt-Mason said, adding that the Pirates hadn’t taken on such a quick team since facing Basalt three years ago. “They had really fast footwork.”

And, although the elevation being about 3,000 feet higher than Pagosa Springs might have given Lake County an advantage, Kurt-Mason said the Pirates took the advantage when it came to being tenacious.

“It was really a great team effort,” the coach said. “We were very tenacious … we just had the upper hand in tenacity, I believe.”

Kurt-Mason noted that there was a sense of urgency for both teams, with no slow moments in the 80-minute game.

Goalkeeper Briar Erskine was the team’s player of the game, with Kurt-Mason stating, “he had some amazing saves.”

Kurt-Mason also noted that he overheard Lake County complimenting Erskine’s goalkeeping skills after the game. Erskine recorded 14 saves on the day.

This weekend, the Pirates welcome the Salida Spartans to Golden Peaks Stadium for an 11:30 nonleague matchup on Saturday — the team’s first home game of the season.

Tuesday, the team heads to Cortez for a 5 p.m. league game against the Montezuma-Cortez High School Panthers.

This story was posted on September 4, 2014.