Ready, set, win
Free kick, corner kick lift Fruita past Durango
Nothing about the Fruita Monument High School girls soccer team is slow. Coach Eric Anderson built a team around athleticism, passing and quick counter attacks.
But Friday against Durango, set pieces — one corner kick and one free kick — allowed Fruita to win 2-1 at Canyon View Park.
“Usually the only time we work on set pieces is the day before a game,” Anderson said. “They’re pretty mellow, and there is a lot of standing around. Those are our first set piece goals and it shows just how dangerous of a team we are because we can score in all situations.”
Courtney Coffee contributed on both goals, setting up Katie Benton on a free kick during the first half and heading a corner kick home in the second.
After Coffee banged her first direct kick off the crossbar, her second attempt swung across the net to a waiting Benton at the far post. After that goal, Fruita never trailed.
“My team helped me out,” Coffee said. “I finished one but McKenzie King had a great corner and Katie finished off my pass. I’m just part of the team. We just try and pass it around until we get an opportunity to put it in the net. Team play comes first.”
Rebounding from last week’s 3-2 loss to a young Grand Junction, Fruita focused on limiting turnovers and breakaways. All three of Grand Junction’s goals came on solo breakaways that stemmed from turnovers by the defense.
Against Durango, Fruita’s back line committed only five turnovers and gave up one breakaway.
“We were just very composed while pinging the ball around,” Anderson said. “We kept possession, and maintained defensive shape. We didn’t let them put it in the back of the net.”
Solid goalkeeping aided Fruita. Kylie Goetz had five saves, including stonewalling a breakaway and pushing a direct free kick over the cross bar.
Goetz averages 1.5 goals against on the season and had a shutout against Douglas County. Durango’s only goal, Anderson said, was a fluke. A deep shot from Durango ricocheted off the crossbar and hit a diving Goetz in the back before finding the net.
“It’s nice having two goalkeepers (Goetz and Ellie Bardi) that I can rotate in and out,” Anderson said. “But with that first goal, I almost count something like that as an own goal. I give them the goal but when she’s in good position and gets a hand on it, that’s just bad luck.”
After notching its first league win, Fruita faces Montezuma-Cortez at 11 this morning at Canyon View Park.
“We need to be an 80-minute soccer team against them,” Anderson said. “We flew around the field in the first half and let off and played defensive soccer in the second half. We need to be aggressive the whole game.”
Grand Junction 2, Montezuma-Cortez 0: Becca Hansen scored in the 34th minute and Leah Swander added another goal in the Tigers’ win.
Steve Baldwin pitched seven innings, allowing five hits in Grand Junction’s 4-1 win over Durango.
Baldwin also hit a double as part of the Tigers’ 11 hits.
Grand Junction (6-2, 1-1 Southwestern League) trailed 1-0 after the second inning but took the lead for good with two runs in the sixth inning.
Fruita Monument 11, Uintah (Utah) 1: Kale Smith limited the Utes to one run on three hits and struck out two in four innings for the victory.
Connor Ruckman hit a solo home run in the seventh. Matt Scofield, Logan McLennan and Even McDermott each had doubles for the Wildcats (6-4).
Windsor 10, Central 1: Central (5-4) gave up 11 hits and a home run to DJ Knott at Canyon View Park.
Kylie Pond, Nicky Arja and Anne Hughes all won singles matches in Grand Junction’s 7-0 win over Cortez.
In the seven matches, Grand Junction won a total of 85 sets compared to 16 for Cortez.
Despite 14 saves from Kolton Flick, Grand Junction lost 9-4 to Steamboat Springs.
The Tigers (2-3, 2-3) trailed 5-4 heading into the fourth quarter and gave up 30 shots to Steamboat Springs.