Palisade turns up defensive effort to defeat league rival Delta on senior night
It was a different Palisade High School soccer team that stepped on to Walker Field on Thursday.
The Bulldogs weren’t happy with the way they played earlier this month in a 1-0 victory over Delta, their opponent on senior night, and it showed in a 3-0 win.
“Our win against Delta earlier this year was probably our poorest performance as a team,” said coach Raina Sorensen. “We didn’t have a good touch, we didn’t utilize our width. We were trying to play right through the middle of the field. Today, we worked the ball wide, had good passes, and worked the ball as a unit.”
Palisade (7-5, 6-3 Western Slope League) played with a defensive focus in the first half, but narrowly missed converting offensive opportunities. The Bulldogs limited Delta (4-8-1, 3-7 WSL) to two shots, both from outside the box. Offensively, the Bulldogs hit the goal posts three times in the final five minutes of the half, and notched seven shots. After being shut out in the first half, the Bulldogs broke through in the first minute of the second half, when Audrey Rose Kachin looped a 35-yard free kick over the keeper.
“I was just aiming the shot to get it on goal to begin with,” Kachin said. “Then I picked a spot, because that’s what Raina always tells us, to pick a spot.
“I picked the top left corner and it just kind of happened.”
After Kachin’s goal, Megan Crawford took advantage of a bad clear for Palisade. An attempted clear by Delta’s goalie ricocheted off the back of a defender, giving Crawford an open-net goal.
Flannery Davis capped the Bulldogs’ senior night with a blast from the top of the penalty box.
“Delta is always a hard opponent and I want us to do well, especially on our senior home game,” Davis said. “I’m really glad I got a goal, and I’m proud of how our team played.
“We had amazing combos. That pass from Cruz (Maestas) was unbelievable. It was a picture perfect goal and a great way to end the game.”
Fruita Monument took a four-goal lead in the second half and held on for an 11-10 victory over Eagle Valley on Thursday in Gypsum.
Lindsey Burneheide led the Wildcats (6-5, 6-5 Mountain League) with seven goals. Alyssa Urban scored two goals and had three assists. Naomi Neuville had two goals.
Olivia Keegan led Eagle Valley (2-8, 2-8 ML) with three goals.
The Wildcats play league leader Aspen (7-1, 7-0 ML) at 4 p.m. Monday.
Kayla Keltz took first place with a one-round score of 75 to lead Montrose to the team title in the Delta Invitational at Devil’s Thumb Golf Course.
Montrose had a team score of 250 to win by seven strokes over Rifle (257). Palisade took third with 270. Delta was fifth (306).
Rifle’s Alex Carter was second with 80 and Taylor Walters took third with 83. Jordan Cherry of Montrose was fourth (86).
Sam Blair led Palisade with 89. She tied for seventh. Kate Shuman tied for ninth with 90.
Kylie Pond (No. 1 singles) and Nicky Arja (No. 2 singles) won matches and Bailey Hilty and Morgen Mantlo closed out Grand Junction’s 4-3 home victory over Fruita Monument by winning their No. 4 doubles match.