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Pirates to face league foes on home pitch

Staff Writer

Homecoming weekend looks to be challenging for the Pagosa Springs High School boys’ soccer team, with matches against conference foes Telluride and Ridgway.

The matches come on the heels of a conference win over the Bayfield Wolverines last Saturday in Bayfield.

The match-up with the Wolverines was light on offense, but ended with a 3-0 score in favor of the Pirates.

The Pirates scored their only goal of the first half 11 minutes into the game, when Colton Polczynski headed the ball inside the 18-yard line and James Berndt volleyed it into the goal.

Twelve minutes into the second half, Berndt again connected with the back of the net, this time on a penalty kick, lifting Pagosa to a 2-0 lead.

Twelve minutes later, Conner Bjork added to the scoreboard with a successful penalty kick for the game’s final goal.

“Our shot output was not great,” coach Lindsey Kurt-Mason said. “It only came from Conner and James.”

In the game, the Pirates had 14 shots — eight from Berndt and six from Bjork. Kurt-Mason said, usually, there are about nine shots per goal on average.

But, despite the lack of offense, Kurt-Mason said the team won a lot of 50-50 balls, held the ball well, and played well defensively.

“Our defense play was outstanding,” Kurt-Mason said.

Goal keeper Briar Erskine notched 7 saves, including only three shots on goal.

This week, the team is working on shooting in anticipation of two tough games this weekend.

Friday, the team welcomes the Telluride Miners to Golden Peaks Stadium for a 3 p.m. game.

“We’ve got a tough match in Telluride, there,” Kurt-Mason said. “We’re always pretty even with those guys, and they’re pretty tough. They’re a real physical team.”

Telluride is 3-1 on the season and 2-1 in league play, with wins over Center and Alamosa and a loss to Crested Butte.

Then, Saturday at 3 p.m., the Pirates welcome the Ridgway Demons for a game.

The Demons are also 3-1 on the season and 3-1 in the league, with two wins over Center, and a win over Alamosa, and a loss to Crested Butte.

Telluride and Ridgway played each other on Tuesday, Sept. 24, but the outcome of that game was not available by press time Wednesday.

“They’re a force to be reckoned with, both those teams,” Kurt-Mason said. “We can’t control what they do, but we can control what we do.”

Next Tuesday, the Pirates again face the Center Vikings, whom they defeated 5-1 on Sept. 5. That game is set to begin at 2 p.m. in Pagosa.

The Vikings are 1-7 on the season and 1-5 in the league, with a victory against Bayfield and losses to Pagosa, Ridgway, Telluride and Alamosa.

The Pirates are currently 3-3 on the season and 2-2 in league play, with wins over Center and Bayfield and losses to Crested Butte and Alamosa.

randi@pagosasun.com

This story was posted on September 26, 2013.