GJ shows no rust in shutout
The Grand Junction High School girls soccer team was ready for another game, even if it was in the rain and hail.
The Tigers withstood the elements Friday and shrugged off the rust to defeat Montezuma-Cortez 2-0 in a Southwestern League game at Long Family Park.
“This group of girls is a tough group of kids,” Grand Junction coach Adrea Tilford said. “They love it. They want to be out here. They want to play. I’m fortunate I get to be their coach.”
Jennifer Kelly gave the Tigers (2-1, 1-0 SWL) the lead when she scored two minutes into the second half from about 25 yards out. Stephanie Brady netted a shot off a corner kick from Kirsten Ryan with nine minutes left for a 2-0 advantage after a brief hail storm.
A few minutes later, lightning and thunder moved into the area and delayed the game with six minutes left.
The delay didn’t slow down the Tigers, who put a couple of more shots on goal before time expired.
Grand Junction got off to a slow start in its first game in three weeks, but turned up the pressure and dominated play in the second half.
“I think we took five shots in the first half,” Tilford said. “One of the things I hope they continue is to look for the goal, because we have some great shooters and we’re deep.
“From the first half to the second half we talked about winning every 50-50 ball. We have been really good at winning those balls and finding each other.”
Tilford was also pleased with her defense.
The Panthers rarely got past the defenders, led by Allison Maryanski and Jenna Short.
“They were coming at us,” Tilford said. “They were not quitting either, so we’re having to make good defensive decisions. I have two really strong center-backs, they really direct.”
Grand Junction took 18 shots. The Cortez goalkeeper made eight saves.
Grand Junction goalkeeper Shari Yurick made two saves.