Shaking the rust: Central soccer team falls in first game to Battle Mountain
It’s difficult to know what to expect in the first game of the season.
The Central High School girls soccer team got onto the field for the first time Saturday at Long Family Memorial Park, and lost 3-1 to Battle Mountain.
“They played hard,” first-year Warriors coach Jacob Pingel said. “At the beginning of the game, we were executing our game plan to a T, but as they tired they got away from what we wanted to do.”
The Warriors’ early approach kept the game scoreless for the first 30 minutes before the Huskies’ Hallie Hogfeldt scored in 33rd minute.
Central (0-1) responded right before halftime when freshman Cierra Pennal scored on a pass from Kindred Micheal.
Micheal capitalized on a poor goalie outlet, and found an open Pennal for the score.
“Kindred took advantage and got it from them,” Pennal said. “I was there at the right moment to put it in the back of the net.”
Pennal, a left striker, was excited about being able to score a goal in her first varsity game.
“I didn’t even think it was real at first,” Pennal said. “It’s about being in the right place.”
Pingel said he expects big things from Pennal.
“She’ll be a star player in this league,” Pingel said. “She was putting the pressure from behind and when you do that, you win more balls.
“She knows how to put herself in the right place at the right time.”
The Warriors kept the game tight for the first 20 minutes of the second half, but as the half progressed, the Huskies were getting more clean runs on the ball.
In the 17th minute, Battle Mountain’s Emma Porter had a breakaway, and collided with Central goalie Marissa Brown coming to make the save.
The ball got loose, and Porter put in the goal for a 2-1 lead.
Central had a few more looks at the goal, but couldn’t finish. The Huskies’ Hogfeldt iced the game with a long goal with five minutes remaining.
“We had some young players come in defensively and they didn’t shift well,” Pingel said. “We didn’t have the pressure we need from the midfield so they were able to play those through balls.”
Battle Mountain finished with 16 shots on goal, and Central’s Brown had 12 saves.
“We are going to learn a lot from (Saturday),” Pingel said. “Everyone has to be ready when it’s their time, and they will be called upon, so it was a good learning opportunity.”
Fruita Monument 2, Montezuma-Cortez 0: The Wildcats (2-2-1) got second-half goals from Megan Hale and Jamie Madson to come away with their first Southwestern League victory.