Road wins add up for Montrose
Indians keep SWL lead by beating 'Cats
The Montrose High School soccer team has adopted a theme for the fall.
“Our motto this season has been ‘road warriors,’ ” Indians senior forward and captain Ricky Zatarain said.
Playing in Grand Junction has sure done a lot for Montrose’s fortunes this season.
The Indians (9-4, 7-1 Southwestern League) defeated Fruita Monument 1-0 on Thursday at Walker Field.
The victory came a week and a half after Montrose edged Grand Junction 3-2 at Canyon View Park.
“A 1-0 win is good for me,” Indians coach Jim Lewis said.
Actually, he’ll take any victory on the road.
It was Montrose’s second one-goal victory over the Wildcats this season. The Indians edged Fruita Monument 2-1 on Sept. 15 in Montrose.
Thursday’s game marked Montrose’s fourth one-goal victory of the SWL season.
For the first half, it appeared both teams might have problems getting untracked. Fruita Monument attempted only four shots on goal, Montrose one.
“We discussed it a little bit at halftime,” Lewis said of his team’s lack of offensive production.
Lewis pointed out to his team that it had lost to the Wildcats 3-0 at home two years ago and tied them last year, both times when Montrose had a better record. In addition, the Wildcats had defeated the Indians 3-1 in the Air Academy tournament the opening weekend of this season.
“I just wanted to remind them of that,” he said.
Zatarain said the team took a different mentality into the second half.
“I think we decided to get more aggressive, not walk the ball to the goal and take outside shots,” he said.
He took that decision to heart. Less than 15 minutes into the second half, Zatarain took a pass 25 yards out in front of the goal and drilled a shot into the upper-right corner for the game winner.
Zatarain said he knew the shot was good when he kicked it.
“You just get that little feeling and you know it’s going in,” he said. “Your heart races and you just jump for joy.”
Lewis said it’s nothing new for Zatarain.
“He’s hit big shots for us throughout his career,” Lewis said.
Montrose’s defense, which was playing with a junior varsity player as a starter because of injuries, made it stand up, although Fruita Monument had its moments.
A Wildcat attempt 13 minutes into the second half that went into the goal was disallowed because of handling. Five minutes later a long attempt went just over the crossbar.
The Wildcats had another good chance with seven minutes remaining but Montrose goalkeeper Ernesto Rodriguez was able to deflect it out of the goal area.
The victory allowed the Indians to keep a one-game lead on Durango and Grand Junction in the SWL standings.