Tigers have chances, can’t convert in loss to Demons

Grand Junction’s Stephanie Drake puts a shot on goal Saturday in the Tigers’ 3-2 loss to Durango at Long Family Memorial Park. Drake’s shot hit the post, but Whitney Ravan scored off the rebound.

Fighting off steady rain and a slick field Saturday at Long Family Memorial Park, the Grand Junction High School girls soccer team fell short to Durango 3-2.

The Demons’ Sarah Zemach broke a 2-2 tie in the 55th minute with a header off a corner kick.

“We weren’t marking up as tightly as we should have,” Grand Junction Adrea Tilford said. “In those situations we need to mark up and not give them anything.”

After a hard-fought, 3-2 overtime win against Montezuma-Cortez on Friday, the Tigers (8-2, 6-1 Southwestern League) had their hands full with the Demons.

Durango’s Brooke Milliet scored the game’s first goal in the eighth minute, but Grand Junction responded with a goal from Whitney Ravan to tie the game at 1-1.

“In the beginning we came out slower than usual, but picked it up,” Ravan said. “They were playing quicker, but everyone on our team gave it their all, and that’s all we can ask for.”

Grand Junction looked to take the momentum when Stephanie Drake knocked in the Tigers’ second goal in the 36th minute. Ashley Wallace’s shot bounced off Durango goalkeeper Jessica Thulson, and Drake corralled the rebound and scored.

“It’s fun watching those girls working together,” Tilford said. “They are good at finding each other and following each other’s shots.”

The Tigers’ lead didn’t last, though. Milliet scored her second goal of the game in the 39th minute to tie the game at 2-2.

“When they had opportunities, they finished,” Tilford said. “This is always a big game, it’s definitely at rivalry.”

After Zemach’s goal in the 55th minute, Grand Junction had its share of chances, but couldn’t finish.

In the final five minutes, Jennah Swander and Kyleigh Larson took good shots on goal, but Thulson came up with the saves for Durango (6-5-2, 4-1-2 SWL).

The Tigers finished with eight shots.

“We didn’t take as many shots as we could have,” Ravan said. “Both teams were worn down, but you have to push through it.”

The loss was the first in the SWL for the Tigers, and snapped an eight-game winning streak. The Tigers have a key league game Tuesday against Montrose.

“We are still in the running to be SWL champs,” Tilford said. “We have to put it all together and focus on the little things in our next games.”


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