Montrose slips past Central in SWL soccer
Montrose High School striker Nick Hansen saw the line judge throw up his hand Tuesday, signaling for offside.
It was a frustrating and often repeated action. But occasionally Hansen and the Indians’ offense would slip by the Central defense, which hugged the midfield line, an action begging Montrose to run offsides.
The Warriors fell victim to what has made their defense great, the offside trap, as Montrose defeated Central 3-0 at Long Family Park.
The Warriors’ four defenders are rarely behind the midfield line, and the wingbacks are often farther upfield. The open field is enticing for attackers, but it takes a precise pass to spring an attacker free.
“They got into our heads right away, playing an aggressive game,” Central coach Doug Beach said. “Can’t take anything away from them. That’s the way Montrose plays. They played right into our defense, and that’s the way we have to play them, tight to the line. It just didn’t work for us today.”
Central, which battled the Indians to a tie last month, drew Montrose offsides 11 times in the first half, but also surrendered five breakaway chances.
Two of the Indians’ goals were scored via a through pass into wide-open field on the counter-attack, with Alec Rose and Hansen netting the goals.
Montrose sits atop the Southwestern League by a half game at 5-0-1, but a surging Fruita team has won its past four contests, including a 12-2 shellacking of Montezuma-Cortez. Fruita’s only SWL loss was to Montrose, 4-2, and the two squads face off in Montrose for the final game of the regular season.
But the Wildcats first have to deal with Central (3-4-1, 2-3-1) at 5 p.m. Thursday at Long Family Park. Fruita escaped the first encounter with the Warriors with a 2-1 win on a late goal from Wesley Padgett, and Central is looking to spoil Fruita’s win streak, Beach said.
“We have to be mentally tough and limit their chances,” Beach said.
Pinch-hitter Megan Cosslett’s single with one out in the bottom of the seventh inning plated pinch-runner McKayla Lange with the winning run as Central beat Montrose 7-6 in a Southwestern League game.
Laurel Rafferty was the winning pitcher, entering the game with one out in the second inning, a frame in which Montrose scored four runs to take a 6-0 lead. Rafferty allowed two hits that inning, but didn’t surrender another hit or a run the rest of the way.
“She came in and shut them down,” Central coach Scott Else said.
The Warriors (9-9, 5-4) rallied with three runs in the fourth inning and three more in the fifth. Tiana Wirth delivered the big hit in the fourth, a two-run single.
Palisade 12, Rifle 3: Danica DeLahoz pitched a complete game and went 5 for 5 at the plate to lead the Bulldogs past Rifle in a Class 4A Western Slope League game. DeLahoz collected three doubles and drove in three runs, and Angela Gordon added three hits to Palisade’s 19-hit attack.
The Bulldogs concluded their regular season 6-0 in league play and 12-7 overall.
Morgan Thieszen had nine kills, and Shannon Rhodes had 25 assists and 18 digs to lead Palisade past Eagle Valley 25-19, 25-14, 28-26 in a Western Slope League match. The Bulldogs improved to 5-1 at the midway point in the league, 8-5 overall.
Fruita Monument 3, Grand Junction 1: The Wildcats improved to 5-1 in the Southwestern League with a 25-14, 25-19, 19-25, 25-17 win. Loryn Chiapuzio and MacKenzie Schuller had 11 kills apiece for Fruita, and Jordan Eatwell added five blocks.
Ashley Preuss paced the Tigers with seven kills.
Montrose 3, Central 0: Montrose defeated Central 25-22, 25-20, 25-17 in SWL play. Nichole McIvor paced Central with 15 kills.