Creating momentum: Tigers hope win over Cortez gives them a boost

Josh Murdock takes a shot at goal as Mitchell Noyes defends.

During the opening face off Saturday, Josh Murdock took one glace at four widely separated defenders of Montezuma-Cortez and had one lingering thought: “I was excited that I’m playing forward,” he said, “and that I can score.”

Forty-two seconds later, Murdock had run through a spacious gap, beat a defender with a couple of taps, touched the ball beside charging Cortez keeper Auston Hart and scored in an empty net.

Murdock scored twice in Grand Junction High School’s 4-0 win over Cortez at Canyon View Park.

“We just wanted to come out real good and have a good start because we haven’t been having a good season,” Murdock said. “I just wanted to see something I could take advantage of right away.”

Grand Junction (2-5-1, 1-2-1 Southwestern League) has lost to league rivals Fruita Monument and Central, but with a tie against Durango on Friday and its win over Cortez, the Tigers hope to take advantage of momentum with seven games remaining.

“We’re hopeful Durango gets some good results against Central and Fruita, which I think they will, and that would help us,” Grand Junction coach Steve Latta said.

In back-to-back days, the Tigers went from playing a Durango team that has, as Latta said, “almost too many men in their program,” to Cortez, which has 20.

But Cortez (1-5-1, 0-3) has improved since last season when it lost 13-0 to Grand Junction.

“We’re just trying to make a team,” Hart said of Cortez’s low participation. “We have a new coach this year (Gary Geppert), and he is our third coach in three years.”

So, of course, Grand Junction was confident before the game.

“We all decided yesterday we were going to win today,” Grand Junction’s Sebastian Glashoff said.

Tigers center-midfielder Marcel Mavangulu noticed a difference between Durango and Cortez.

“You could just hold the ball a little longer than yesterday,” he said, “and look up and pass and stuff.”

Luis Gutierrez and Jacob Howell also scored for Grand Junction.

Goalkeeper Mike Hansen had eight saves in 70 minutes for the Tigers, who host Montrose on Tuesday.


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