Talbott’s two goals lift ‘Dogs to win

The Palisade High School boys soccer team outslugged Rifle 3-2 on Thursday night at Walker Field in an offense-heavy Western Slope League game. The two squads combined for 37 shots on goal.

Both teams had plenty of chances early, but it wasn’t until the 34th minute that Rifle’s Marco Gutierrez cut up the right side of the field and, while falling, swung a curving ball into the top left corner to break the scoreless tie.

Less than a minute later, the Bulldogs responded when Spencer Jackson cut through the middle of the defense and quickly erased the Bears’ (2-4-1, 1-2-1) lead.

Palisade (2-5, 1-3) tried to break the tie five times before halftime, with two crosses leading to narrowly missed headers and Pete McCutchen pushing a top-corner shot wide.

Freshman Joe Talbott missed an open net during a scramble, but during stoppage time before intermission, he put away a low shot to give Palisade a 2-1 lead.

Talbott notched his second goal of the night during the 68th minute, receiving a cross after senior Kasey Bruggeman beat the keeper.

“It was definitely a team effort,” Talbott said. “I got the last two goals but there were loads of passes and effort from everybody.”

Gutierrez scored his second goal in the 72nd minute when he weaved through the Bulldog back line and squeezed the ball past Palisade’s goalkeeper to bring Rifle within one goal.

From there, Palisade’s defense held strong to break a four-game losing streak.

“The second half was a huge positive for us,” Rifle coach Rich Carter said. “They outplayed us in the first half but in the second half we moved the ball better despite not having any subs. The guys played hard and that’s what I’m most proud of.”

The youth of Palisade, which includes five freshmen on the varsity roster, carried the offensive load.

“We’re depending on the young guys because we need them to step up and fill holes,” Palisade coach Drake Jandreau said. “We have a lot of great upperclassmen leadership on this team, there’s just not enough of them.”

Palisade hosts Moffat County at 11 a.m. on Saturday. Rifle is on the road against Coal Ridge at 1 p.m. on Saturday.

Roaring Fork 4, Hotchkiss 1: Sam Carpenter scored two goals and Ben Carpenter and Enrique Abarca added one each for the Rams.

SOFTBALL

One week after losing a two-run game to rival Grand Junction, Central turned the tables, claiming an 8-3 Southwestern League victory and ending its four-game losing streak.

It also halted a 10-game winning streak for the fifth-ranked Tigers (11-2, 3-1 SWL).

Central (6-6, 1-3 SWL) used a six-run third inning to take a 7-0 lead, then added one run in the fourth after the Tigers closed the gap to 7-3. Central’s Laurel Rafferty allowed five hits and the Warriors capitalized on five Grand Junction errors. Makenzie Lange had the only extra-base hit in the game, a double.

Fruita Monument 18, Montrose 0: The Wildcats got home runs from Mallory Paulson and Shanyn Thomas to put the game away in only three innings. Paulson hit a two-run home run in the second and Thomas had a three-run shot in the same inning, when eighth-ranked Fruita (10-3, 3-1) scored 12 runs.

Jenni Sneddon allowed only one hit to help Fruita win its third straight league game.

TENNIS

Fruita Monument tuned up for this weekend’s Pueblo South Invitational by defeating Liberty 5-2 in Colorado Springs.

The Wildcats won every match except No. 2 singles and No. 3 doubles. Vinny Castellini won the No. 1 singles match over Nate Miller 6-4, 6-3 and Matthew Harris won at No. 3 singles, 6-2, 6-4 over Kyle Osborne.

Fruita got straight-set victories at No. 1 and No. 2 doubles, and Taylor Scofield and Kelson Reimer rallied for a three-set win over Tyler Leasure and Michael Chambers 5-7, 7-4, 6-1.


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