Central uses quickness to top Fruita in soccer match

Stacey Kinnett, left, of Central High School works to get control of the ball in front of Fruita Monument’s goal as Fruita’s Anna Woomer pushes in duirng the first half of Thursday’s game at Walker Field. Kinnett has the assist on Ashley Paul’s sole goal of the game.

Pressure and quickness were the keys to Central High School’s 1-0 victory Thursday over Fruita Monument at Walker Field.

The Warriors pressured the Wildcats relentlessly in the first half, with the trio of Ashley Paul, Stacey Kinnett and Haleigh Higgins providing most of the heat. Kinnett was feeding the two speedy forwards passes until the Warriors scored.

“It seems like they know where they’re going to be before the other person knows where they’re going to be,” Warriors coach Douglas Beach said about the three. “It’s like they can read each others’ minds. ... They know how to read a ball off the foot, and it’s pretty fluid.”

Seven minutes into the game, Kinnett passed ahead to Paul on a breakaway, but Wildcats junior goalkeeper Kate Schwenke made one of her six saves to keep the game scoreless.

Higgins was on the receiving end of the next Kinnett pass, taking the ball as she was streaking down the left sideline. Schwenke rushed out from the goal to cut Higgins off, and the forward unleashed a blast from just outside the left side of the penalty box. The shot soared just above the crossbar, keeping the game scoreless.

Paul got the better of Schwenke in the next confrontation, though, after Kinnett gingerly threaded a pass to her . Paul received the pass and scored after Schwenke came charging out to the end of the penalty box to try to defend the pass.

“They have some incredible speed, and it’s really hard to defend speed,” Wildcats coach
Tracey Burke said of their opponents . “We had to modify our formation to counteract that.

They play more of a long ball game than we do, and if you can stop that, then you can shut them down.”

The game’s first goal turned out to be the game-winner for the Warriors, in what turned into a defensive second half.

“Our defense saved us today,” Beach said. “Our goalie (Savannah Moore) had another shutout. That’s four shutouts this year. We prevented a lot of shots. The Fruita team is a good team. They passed well, and they had us running for a while.”

The Wildcats outshot the Warriors 12-10, but could not convert any of their opportunities into points.

Burke took a positive outlook on the team’s performance, despite the loss.

“We finally played a complete game,” Burke said. “It came down to one play. They beat us on one play, and I’m so proud of my girls, and how they played. We’re starting to see a vision. We’re finally starting to see it.”

The Warriors (6-0-1, 3-0-1 SWL) and Wildcats (1-7, 1-2 SWL) will both play Tuesday at Walker Field. The Warriors take on Montrose, and the Wildcats play Grand Junction.


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