Short helps Tigers top ‘Cats

Grand Junction’s Stephanie Drake gets ready to shoot Tuesday in the Tigers’ 3-0 victory over Fruita Monument. Drake scored once in the win.

Corner kicks are her favorite.

That’s when Jenna Short gets her opportunity to score.

The Grand Junction High School junior defender did just that Tuesday night, leading the Tigers to a 3-0 victory over Fruita Monument in a Southwestern League game at Walker Field.

“It’s really cool, because on corners I like to get in and get the ball,” Short said. “Everyone looks to find me too.”

This particular corner kick was meant for Short, but the ball was kicked away by a Fruita defender. Grand Junction centered the ball back to Short, who deposited it in the net in the 50th minute for the Tigers’ third goal, securing the victory.

“Jenna works so hard,” Grand Junction coach Adrea Tilford said. “She will throw herself in front of the ball. She’s a great kid to have on our team. She’s a great player.”

Short’s goal was assisted by Ashley Wallace and Kirsten Ryan.

“It was kind of bouncing around a little,” Short said. “I saw it come straight to my feet. I knew I could turn and one-touch it.”

Short’s goal was her second of the season. She scored in the Tigers’ victory over Moffat County last week, but she’s not trying to convince Tilford to move her to forward just yet.

“I like playing back there (on defense), but sometimes I go up to attacking mid and attack a little bit,” Short said.

Grand Junction (4-2, 3-1 SWL) took a 1-0 lead with a little help from the Wildcats (0-9-1, 0-5 SWL).

The Tigers were on the attack, led by Wallace and Kricket Adleman, when a Fruita Monument defender kicked the ball in the net trying to clear it in the sixth minute.

Stephanie Drake gave Grand Junction a 2-0 lead in the 25th minute. The sophomore forward scored 15 yards out from the right side. Her goal was assisted by Wallace and Stephanie Brady.

Although the Tigers led 2-0 at halftime, Tilford wanted more out of the team.

“We came out pretty hard and looked ready, but Fruita stepped it up,” Tilford said. “My girls were sitting back a little bit, which is unlike their style of play. We came back at halftime and talked about how important it is to be on the attack. We set our lineup to attack more.

“I felt like we were able to attack and win the ball. Fruita played tough and kept the pressure on us.”

The Tigers had 30 shots for the game. Fruita Monument goalkeeper Kylie Goetz made nine saves.

The Wildcats had seven shots. Grand Junction goalkeeper Jennifer Kelly made five saves.

“For what we’ve been going through, we played great,” Fruita coach Tracey Burke said. “It’s always difficult when you run out of players.”

Burke had several players injured or plagued by recurring injuries.

“Junction is a great team,” Burke said. “Having to change your formation (Monday). My starting center back (Megan Hale) sprained her ankle two minutes before Montrose. I had to switch up my defense and put someone back on defense that was playing offense. Two of my defenders got hurt.”


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