Crawford’s change to forward lifts Palisade to win

Palisade’s Natalie Combs uses her head to shoot on goal Thursday in the Bulldogs’ 3-0 victory over Delta at the Peach Bowl.

A single position change can make a big difference.

Thursday at the Peach Bowl, Palisade High School soccer player Megan Crawford switched from her usual outside midfielder position to forward, and contributed to the Bulldogs’ 3-0 victory over Delta.

Crawford, a sophomore, assisted on the first goal of the game and scored the second goal moments before halftime.

“Megan was more involved and had a bigger impact in this game than any other this season,” Palisade coach Raina Sorensen said. “She moved to forward and came through with a goal.”

Crawford’s goal came in the 37th minute, and it took some work.

Crawford received a pass from Flannery Davis, then kicked the ball between Delta goalie Sadie Carillo’s legs as the keeper came up to meet Crawford.

Crawford finished the run by getting past Carillo and putting the ball in the open net for a 2-0 lead.

“There is that ‘oh my gosh’ moment when you almost freeze because no one is there,” Crawford said. “But at one point you have to breathe and just kick it.”

Crawford assisted Davis on the game’s first goal in the 13th minute. Crawford said the position change also forced her to alter her outlook.

“You always have to be attacking,” Crawford said of playing forward. “(At midfielder) you are going back and forth, but at forward, you are always thinking ‘attack.’ “

The Bulldogs (4-5-1, 4-2-1 Western Slope League) led 2-0 at halftime and put the game away in the 57th minute on a goal by Davis.

Palisade keeper Lindsay Rasmussen finished with nine saves and recorded her third shutout of the season.

Palisade took 14 shots on goal, with Carillo making seven saves for the Panthers.

The Bulldogs had lost four of their past five games. Other than a 3-0 loss to Glenwood Springs, the Bulldogs were competitive in every game.

“We’d been doing all the right things, but it just hasn’t happened,” Sorensen said. “There was one game where we didn’t play well, but the rest we did, and it’s frustrating when you are doing everything you are supposed to be doing, but you don’t win.”

The Bulldogs’ win Thursday put them ahead of Delta (5-5, 4-3 WSL) in the standings. Palisade plays Saturday at Moffat County.

“At this point, if we had lost another game it could have crushed our spirits,” Sorensen said. “We had to get this game to keep our intensity up.”


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