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The season is over for the Pagosa Springs High School soccer team, but that hasn’t stopped the members of the team from continuing to practice and better themselves for the future.
The team, said coach Lindsey Kurt-Mason, has elected to continue to practice until the snow flies, with many of the team members already planning additional off-season training.
The Pirates’ season ended with a 1-1 tie last Friday in Ridgway against the Demons, giving the Pirates a final season record of 7-6-1 overall, and a 6-5-1 mark in league action.
In the final game, James Berndt scored the Pirates’ only goal off an assist from Mathew Breman in the first half — Berndt’s 14th goal of the season.
Unfortunately for the Pirates, the Demons countered with a goal of their own in the second half, and neither team would score again in the match, leaving both teams with their first tie of the season.
Kurt-Mason missed the team’s final game of the season in order to celebrate wife Mary’s People Magazine Teacher of the Year honor in New York City, but said that, from reports he received, the Pirates dominated possession in the second half, but were unable to convert that domination to the scoreboard.
“It was hard for me to be away from that,” Kurt-Mason said. “Kudos to the kids … they did a phenomenal job.”
Goalie Briar Erskine notched 9 saves in the game, pushing his season total to 163 saves, with 15 goals against.
With the tie, the Pirates finished third in the Intermountain League, behind Crested Butte (12-0 league, 13-2 overall) and Telluride (9-2 conference, 10-2 overall).
Finishing behind the Pirates are Ridgway (6-6-1 league, 6-6-1 overall), Alamosa (5-7, 7-8), Center (2-10-1, 2-12-1) and Bayfield (0-10-1, 0-12-1).
The Pirates fell short of earning a wildcard playoff spot because they did not win a game against a team ranked in the top 28 in the state, Kurt-Mason said.
But, with the team only losing Colton Polczynski to graduation before next season, the prospects look good, Kurt-Mason said.
Kurt-Mason said much of the team is heading to Costa Rica next summer for training, a service project and several games. In addition to that and local soccer skills camps, he said many of the players are planning on playing on a New Mexico team next spring, meaning the team should return next fall bigger, stronger and more confident.