Fruita controls tempo in big win over Central
It took a while, but once the Fruita Monument High School girls soccer team started rolling, they turned Walker Field into their personal playground.
The Wildcats scored four goals in 15 minutes in the first half and rolled to a 7-2 Southwestern League victory over Central on Tuesday.
After facing a determined Central defense for the first 17 minutes, the Wildcats broke through and turned up the offensive pressure. In the 17th minute, Baseley McClaskey took a pass from Sarah Benton and drilled a powerful left-footed shot from about 30 yards out just under the crossbar for the first goal.
Benton, who had two goals and two assists, made it 2-0 when she used her body to take possession of the ball just outside the box, then drilled a shot off the hands of Beatrice Torres, Central’s goalkeeper.
Fruita Monument coach Jeff Shuldener said the first part of the game was tight.
“Central came out and played very strong defense and worked us very hard, and we had to work extremely hard to get our first goal,” he said “After that, things stated to roll and we got into a rhythm.”
After the first goal, Fruita Monument was relentless on offense, finishing with 27 shots.
Liz Downing, who had two goals, showed great patience in the 30th minute when she dribbled past a defender and found herself alone in the box. After taking one more dribble, she popped the ball past Torres for a 3-0 lead.
She said playing at Walker Field was a big motivation for her.
“This is the first stadium game for us and it’s my senior year so I tried to come out with a lot of intensity,” she said. “I really wanted to come out with a bang.”
Teresa Giandonato got the Warriors on the board in the 37th minute on a perfectly placed shot on a free kick from 20 yards out. The shot was high and hard, and zipped into the net just under the crossbar to make the score 4-1. It was the junior defender’s second goal off a free kick this season.
Benton got the Wildcats’ on the board quickly in the second half when she showed some great footwork and popped in a left-footed goal off an assist from junior Courtney Coffey to make the score 5-1.
With the Wildcats controlling the possession for much of the second half, Central (3-3, 1-3 SWL) didn’t have many scoring opportunities but Rylea Rottman scored the Warriors’ second goal in the 60th minute for the Warriors.
Coffey, who missed her sophomore season because of a knee injury, scored the Wildcats’ final goal to go with her two assists.
Samantha Neuville also scored for the Wildcats.
Sophomore Jessica Smith had 10 saves in goal for Fruita Monument (4-1-1, 1-0-1 SWL).
Shuldener is pleased with how the team is playing right now.
“We knew that having an in-town rival that was going to play us tough was going to be a test and we passed that test,” he said. “We know we have the skill to play with anybody in our league but we also know that everyone is going to come out and play us extremely hard.”