Garcia’s goals lift Durango in soccer match

Fruita Monument High School’s Erin Wataha, left, and Durango’s Brooke Milliet go up for a header during the second half of Friday’s game at Canyon View Park.

Katerina Garcia was one frustrated soccer player.

The Durango High School senior had three one-on-one shot attempts early in the second half of Friday’s game with Fruita Monument — and all missed their mark.

“Missing those three goals was ridiculous,” said Garcia, who has scored more than her fair share of goals for the Demons during her four years on varsity.

With 14 minutes left in what was a 0-0 tie, Garcia finally showed her athleticism.

Garcia, who will head to Southern Illinois University this fall on a basketball scholarship, created some open space in front of the goal and drilled a left-footed shot into the net to break the scoring drought.

She scored again with one minute remaining to give Durango a 2-0 victory at Canyon View Park.

As much as anything, Garcia was hoping to avoid a repeat of last season’s league-opening road trip.

“We did not want to tie Fruita against like we did last year,” she said of last season’s 2-2 stalemate at Canyon View.

Garcia was getting the opportunities, especially in the second half.

“My teammates were giving me great balls,” she said of their centering passes in front of the goal. “You feel like you’re letting them down, too.”

While giving credit to the Wildcats’ defense, Durango coach Aaron Eldridge felt his team was attacking the goal too directly in the first 65 minutes.

“I felt like we were a little flat,” Eldridge said.

Garcia inflated them a little with her first goal, then took a pass from Meghan O’Brien with a minute remaining to score an insurance goal.

Garcia suffered a stress fracture in her foot during the basketball season but said the injury doesn’t bother her now.

“When I think about it, that’s when I injure it,” she said.

Although a four-year hoops career at Southern Illinois is at the forefront of her mind, she want to finish her soccer career on a high note.

“I’m having as much fun as I can with it,” she said. “I’m going to miss soccer so much.”

The Wildcats (0-6, 0-1) played solid defense but had trouble mounting an offensive attack, attempting only one shot on goal.

“We are finally getting the defense moving the way we want them to,” Fruita Monument coach Tracey Burke said of shutting down the Demons for the first 66 minutes.

Injuries have forced Burke to revamp her lineup.

“We completely changed our formation from the tournament (in Colorado Springs a week ago),” she said. “We just moved one forward. It creates more offense.”

The Wildcats look for their first victory today at 11 a.m. against Montezuma-Cortez at Mesa State’s Walker Field.


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