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Lady Pirates end season with loss to Crested Butte


The Pagosa Springs High School Lady Pirate soccer team ended its season with a 6-0 loss to Crested Butte in Crested Butte on May 3.

Coach Trevor Gian commented that the game was a “really good game” and a “pretty decent result for us,” but acknowledged it “doesn’t look that way.”

He stated that the Crested Butte Titans, who are the fourth-ranked team on the 2A Selection and Seeding Index, are a “very, very quality” team.

Gian explained that the team was able to keep the game relatively even through the first half, with the Titans only scoring one goal and the Lady Pirates displaying “fight,” “effort” and “intensity.”

“We rallied to the ball,” he said. “We survived a lot of their opportunities, forced them into contested shots. The one goal that they did score was actually a nice little shot from about 20 yards out on the ground. [Lady Pirate goalkeeper Kiera Davis] made a fantastic save on it; it just happened to pop out and spin in the air and it bit the turf. It kind of went back in the goal. She fought for it. [Lady Pirate Jeidy Moreno Echavarria] was there as well, shielding the defender and she was close to even saving that one.”

He commented that the goal was “unlucky” and that otherwise Pagosa could have kept the score 0-0 until halftime, although he added, “but 1-0 at half against that team was, you don’t want to say it was a win, but it was a very, very positive outcome for us.”

Gian explained that the team was struggling with injuries and illness for the game and that this combined with four players being injured and having to leave the game in its second half contributed to Crested Butte scoring five goals during the half.

He added that, during a 15-minute period beginning about 10 minutes into the second half, the Titans scored five more goals, including some “really good shots” into a space at the top of the box.

“It’s pretty quality looks on their end,” Gian said.

However, he indicated that the Lady Pirates were able to recover and, despite being tired, were able to hold Crested Butte scoreless for the rest of the game.

“I can’t stress enough that that 1-0 result at halftime showed our team what we’ve been building on and what all the hard work we put into it that you can come in and compete against quality teams,” the coach said. “We were definitely defensive, but it shows that they can be there with those players, especially as they continue to grow.”

He highlighted that the Titan team was likely significantly older than the Lady Pirate team, adding there’s additional potential for improvement.

Gian highlighted the value of playing Crested Butte for the development of the Lady Pirate athletes, commenting that playing superior teams can help give players a new perspective on what is possible and what areas they can improve on.

He added that the Titans’ junior varsity team defeated the Lady Pirate junior varsity team 1-0.

The coach noted that the Lady Pirate junior varsity team consistently competed strongly against other junior varsity teams in the Intermountain League (IML) and from elsewhere, which shows the future potential of the team as the group continues to age and gain experience.

“I don’t wanna put an umbrella over it and call everything has improved, but it really has,” Gian said on the season as a whole. “There’s only so much we could work on in such a tight time frame and the first touches, the confidence on the ball, looking to maintain possession — those were some of the early-season things. As the season progressed, it was putting ourselves in position defensively and offensively, finding our shape, learning how to defend, learning how to close down lanes. 

“All of those things have improved exponentially from the beginning of the season. Each individual still has things they can work on, but as a whole, as a group, we came together in a way that helped us get some results that I don’t think we would have without the work they’ve been putting in — everybody showing up at practice, everybody ready to work, everybody listening, everybody participating in what might be a boring drill. But it’s, ‘Hey, let’s get the fundamentals down, let’s talk about a few things,’ definitely improved over the season.

“I’d say the biggest thing though from the beginning of the season to the end is just the effort — learning how to show up and fight and put yourselves in positions to battle with teams on sheer effort. The rest of that stuff will continue to grow, but if we can bring that effort and that attitude, the intensity to the games, we’ll start finding success as those other things build up as well, the tactical and technical side.”

Gian also talked about the team as a group.

“It’s a great group of kids,” he said. “Great attitude. Great support of each other. They battled. Not much negativity at all through the season which, you know, high school age, that’s kind of a win of itself, but it just kind of shows what they were interested in being a part of and willing to work at, and I couldn’t be more impressed with their attitude. … That didn’t necessarily change from the beginning of the season, but it intensified, I would say, them knowing that we’re not just Pagosa Springs, everybody’s going to walk over us. They’re gonna know. Even Crested Butte looks at us on the schedule next time, we’ve earned some respect from these teams we’ve played just because of our effort and attitude.

“Three months is a pretty tough time frame to get everybody where my expectation is. But I do think all around the board that we improved, and I just hope we continue to find opportunities to improve on that before next season — don’t let it go off just because we’re going into other things.”

Gian also highlighted the contributions of the team’s three seniors: Moreno Echavarria, Lauren Monterroso and Taylor Elliott.

He commented that all three were on the team’s starting lineup in the games they played in and that he looked at them for “leadership and experience, having played before, being able to help lead the team just based on experience alone, but also their skills and their effort and attitude were very important to what we were trying to do.

“They all had things they could improve on as well, and I think they accepted that challenge and they were kind of excited for it. I’m kind of sad we don’t get them back next season. [The] kind of the tough part of that is only getting to work with them for these last few months, I’ve seen such tremendous improvement I’d love to see what we could build with them.”

The team finished the season ranked 40th in the 3A Selection and Seeding Index with a 6-5-3 record and fourth in the IML with a 0-3-3 record.

Alamosa finished first in the IML with a 4-1-1 league record and will enter the playoffs as the 29th seed, playing fourth-ranked Delta in the first round.

Bayfield finished second in the league with a 2-1-3 record and will enter the playoffs as the 32nd seed, playing first-ranked Colorado Academy in the first round.

Montezuma-Cortez was the third-ranked team in the IML with a 1-2-3 record and a 38th-place finish in the selection and seeding index.

Gian stated that the Lady Pirates had a roster of 24 players through the season and that he hopes to have the 21 players who will not have graduated return next year in addition to new players who might join the team.

“It’d be nice to have 10 seniors and eight juniors in a season or two,” he said. “Building that base, building that foundation would be really good.”