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Lady Pirates drop two, tie one, to host Panthers Saturday


The Pagosa Springs High School Lady Pirate soccer team lost two matches against Telluride on April 3 and Alamosa on April 5 and tied a game against Bayfield on April 9 to bring its record to 2-2-1.

Coach Trevor Gian commented on the losses against Telluride and Alamosa, “It’s kind of tough they were both losses, but ... I still feel good with the effort and attitude we’re providing out there.”

The Pirates lost to the Telluride Miners 7-0 in Telluride, with the Miners scoring four goals in the first half and three goals in the second.

“Telluride was a big, strong, physical, fast team,” Gian said. “They were very good, at least on that athletic side, and you could tell they’ve been playing together for a while. ... I thought we definitely had chances in that game to turn that score around. I know it ended 7-0 on the varsity side, but … a couple bounces here and there, a couple of different things happened, that game could be a little bit different, a little bit tighter, but the effort was definitely there on our end.”

He added that the defeat at home against the Alamosa Mean Moose in a league game, where the Lady Pirates lost 4-0 and Alamosa scored one goal in the first half and three in the second, was similar, with Pagosa “working out some kinks” in terms of formation and players’ positions.

The coach noted the wind was a major factor in the game against Alamosa, stating that it gave Alamosa an advantage in the first half by elongating the distance that the Mean Moose shots could travel and required the Lady Pirates to “stay deep” to defend against potential Alamosa breakthroughs.

He added that the Lady Pirates had “quality opportunities” to score against Alamosa, though the team was not able to convert these opportunities into goals, partly because of the quality of Alamosa’s defense and goalkeeper.

“But a couple things here and there in the Alamosa game,” Gian said. “The 4-0 and the 7-0 at Telluride, they don’t necessarily indicate what that game could have been. But, … it’s tough because those were our first two real tests. … We went out there and we’re still learning. We’re pretty young in a lot of spots and we’re working towards it, but definitely the effort’s there, so we’re going to build off of that.”

He added that he’s looking forward to playing Alamosa again, “once we get a little more legs on us, a little more cohesion on what we’re trying to do.”

Gian commented that the team’s formation is improving, but continues to evolve, with changes in the positions taken by various players and continuing work on keeping the team’s formation compact and maintaining shape.

“We do have some experience, but we’re also very young as well, and it’s trying to find what fits our group of players,” Gian said Monday. “Definitely some people are moving around, some people will move around for Bayfield, as well as I attempt to try to clean things up defensively and that will give some people some opportunities in other positions as well.

“I think, at the end of the day, we’re still trying to figure out our identity, we’re trying to figure out our development, where do players fit. And those first two games against Del Norte and Lake County, we were kind of going there, but these last two games against Telluride and a league game against Alamosa really gave me some perspective in seeing where some people fit.”

Gian commented that, although he has learned about the strengths and abilities of his players through practices, game situations often “show and dictate where players are going to find success. And, even then, we’re going to continually work as the games go on. We’re only going to get better, but we’re learning on the field as well as at practice. ... It’s just a process; it’s nothing to be discouraged of or get ahead of ourselves with. We’re going to stay true to what we’re doing and the results will come when that happens.”

Gian reported Wednesday that the team’s efforts to improve positioning and formation as well as continued work to find the ideal positions for players paid off in its 1-1 tie against the Bayfield Wolverines in a league game on April 9.

He commented that the game was successful, “not just on the results side, but the effort. Everything we’ve been working on kind of came together pretty well. … Being able to get a better result there was pretty exciting.”

He stated that Bayfield was similar in skill level to Alamosa, with skilled and athletic players, including a significant number of upperclassmen.

“On our end, as the coaches, we’ve kind of put together a pretty good game plan on formation, where we can put some people to find success out there. We did move some people into the defensive position that haven’t been playing there, but they actually fit that position well. That helped us solidify the back and not give up many opportunities. The ones we did were stuff we’re working on. But, it was that, the effort … I can’t say enough about the effort, going in there, just fighting tooth and nail, going right at ‘em for the whole 80 minutes was huge. … Everything we’ve been working on is slowly starting to come together.”

The coach explained that Pagosa scored once in the middle of the first half of the game when Hailey Sams took a corner kick that deflected off the Bayfield goalkeeper and went into the goal.

“She put it tight to the keeper and the keeper actually, while attempting to make a save, knocked it into the net,” he explained.

He stated that Bayfield evened the score in the second half off of a free kick.

“They got a free kick call just outside the 18,” he said. “It was a direct free kick off of that. The ball basically got through the wall and went into the back of the net.”

Gian also highlighted his appreciation for the efforts of the school district’s bus drivers to get the team to games, particularly since the district’s transportation team is “kind of short-handed right now.

“I just want them to know that the soccer program really appreciates them getting us to games.”

The Lady Pirates will next face the Montezuma-Cortez Panthers in a home game at 11 a.m. on April 13 at Golden Peaks Stadium.

That will be followed by an away game against the Ignacio Bobcats on April 16 in Ignacio, with that game set to begin at 4:30 p.m.

Gian commented that he expects the match against the Panthers to be similarly competitive to the other league matches against Alamosa and Bayfield, while he noted that Ignacio is likely to be more similar to the teams the Pirates faced earlier in the season, such as Del Norte or Lake County.