Confident Tigers: Grand Junction girls soccer team tops Fruita Monument

After scoring a goal, Allison Maryanski, far right, gets a big hug from teammate Jennah Swander as Kyleigh Larson comes in to celebrate Tuesday night during the Tigers’ victory over Fruita Monument at Walker Field.

The tone was set early.

Goals were going to be a premium in the first girls soccer contest of the season between rivals Grand Junction and Fruita Monument.

Tuesday night at Walker Field, Grand Junction managed one goal in each half to defeat Fruita Monument 2-0.

“It’s a rivalry game, so we always expect the other team to play their hardest,” Grand Junction coach Adrea Tilford said. “So we have to match that and play hard, too.”

Both teams entered Tuesday’s game with confidence — Fruita Monument opened Southwestern League play 3-0-1, including winning its past three games. Grand Junction lost its season opener to Coronado, but responded with five straight victories, including the past two by a combined 15-1.

“I thought they came out and played us the toughest we’ve seen them play anyone,” Tilford said. “They were playing tough, high-pressure defense and made our girls work hard to control the game.”

Grand Junction (6-1, 5-0 SWL) broke the scoreless tie 13 minutes into the first half when Allison Maryanski scored.

“I didn’t think it was going to go in, but I shot it and put it in the back corner,” Maryanski said. “I was so pumped for this game and it felt good to get a goal.”

It was Maryanski’s first goal of the season, and with the two teams playing the rest of the first half tight, it couldn’t have come at a better time.

“It was a big deal to get one on the board in the first half,” Tilford said. “To have someone new score a goal is really exciting for the team.”

The Tigers added to their 1-0 lead right after halftime when Ericka Meister scored in the 41st minute. Fruita Monument coach Eric Anderson said he was disappointed the Tigers were able to score so quickly in the second half.

“The only thing we were really frustrated about was the first minute of the second half,” Anderson said. “We had a midfield breakdown and they capitalized on it.”

Fruita Monument (4-3-1, 2-1-1 SWL) managed seven shots on Grand Junction goalie Lexi Anderson, with only a few legitimate scoring chances.

“(Grand Junction) had a couple shots they finished, and we had shots but we didn’t finish,” Anderson said. “I felt like we dominated the game, but didn’t come up with the result we wanted.”

Fruita Monument goalie Kylie Goetz had four saves on Grand Junction’s 12 shots.

“I wanted us to come out and keep battling,” Anderson said. “We showed we can compete.”

Palisade 1, Battle Mountain 1: The Bulldogs held a 1-0 halftime lead, but a second-half goal by Battle Mountain pushed the game into double overtime.

Cruz Vela, a freshman, scored the Bulldogs’ lone goal on an assist from Courtney Clark.

“We played well in pockets,” Palisade coach Raina Sorensen said.

Lindsay Rasmussen finished with 10 saves for Palisade (2-1-1, 2-0-1 Western Slope League).


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