Beating the clock

GJ holds off plethora of shots to blank Wildcats

Fruita Monument’s Sarah Benton shows her frustration after yet another shot on goal doesn’t go in Friday night in the Wildcats’ 1-0 loss to Caitlin Reiner and Grand Junction at Walker Field.

Becca Hansen, otherwise known as “Rabbit,” could not keep her eyes off the clock in the second half.

The Grand Junction High School midfielder also couldn’t take her eyes off Fruita Monument’s attempts to tie the game Friday in the last minutes at Walker Field.

One Fruita shot hit the post with 27:30 left.

“I kept looking at the clock ... ” Hansen said.

Another header attempt off a corner kick in the final minutes went just over the net.

” ... and looking at theclock ...” Hansen continued.

But Fruita couldn’t find the goal in Grand Junction’s 1-0 win.

Sure, the Tigers’ goal seven minutes into the game by Jaryn Gibb — off a crossing pass by Leah Swander and short poke to Gibb from Jordan Drake — was exciting for Grand Junction, but not compared to the final minutes

For Hansen, the ball no longer is just a ball.

“The ball is yours,” Hansen said. “I think of it as the game ball — you have to get there.”

Sometimes the Tigers (6-3, 4-2 Southwestern League) got there, sometimes the “game ball” went to Fruita (8-3, 4-2).

With three minutes left, it went to Courtney Coffey. A lead pass from Sarah Benton went wide of the 18-yard box to Coffey, who crossed the ball back into the box. She ripped a shot off Grand Junction goalie Lexi Anderson, and the ball bounced free in front of the goal for a couple of seconds before the Tigers were able to clear.

At the other end, Fruita keeper Elie Bardi, perhaps more than any player on the field, was hoping the Wildcats could knock a goal in and erase the one ball Grand Junction had put behind her.

Didn’t happen.

“There was a lot of pressure (on me) but adrenaline at the end,” Bardi said. “It was real tough, I just wished one would go in.”

Fruita’s final attempt with just more than two minutes left was perhaps the closest. On a corner kick by Benton, Rebbeca Arotin flashed into the box and put a leg on the ball, which went just over the net.

Odds are, “Rabbit” took yet another look up at the clock.


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