Tigers prep for Durango with rout of Cortez
The Grand Junction High School boys soccer team kept its focus on Friday’s opponent instead of peeking ahead to today’s, pummeling Montezuma-Cortez 13-0 at Canyon View Park.
On an adjacent field, Fruita Monument scored an early goal and made it stand up against perennial Southwestern League power Durango, winning 1-0.
The teams switch opponents at 11 this morning at Canyon View.
The Tigers (1-4-2, 1-2 SWL) held the Panthers (0-4, 0-2 SWL) without a shot well into the second half, and consistently passed the ball into open space.
“We kept our structure,” coach Stephen Latta said. “We’re working on finishing games. Against conference teams and teams on our level, we haven’t been able to. The best analogy I can think of is we don’t finish well in the red zone and that’s not something you can teach in a week. It’s mental.”
Sophomore Marcel Mavangulu and senior Kyle Gibbons sparked the Tigers’ offense, scoring the first four goals and combining for six goals and five assists.
“We worked together well and had a lot of one-touches into open space,” Mavangulu said.
After going up 5-0, Latta sat his starting forward duo for the rest of the first half, but there wasn’t a letdown.
Scott Foster and Luke Dohm contributed goals to put Grand Junction up 7-0 heading into halftime.
Gibbons opened the second half by ending two breakaways with feeds from Mavangulu and John Maier. Gibbons got Luis Gutierrez involved when his spinning drop pass gave Gutierrez a wide-open net to put the Tigers up by double digits.
Andrew Hays finished a half-field run with a goal when the Panther goalkeeper misplayed his shot in the 78th minute.
Freshman Jacob Howell outran defenders on a 50-foot lob pass to push the Tigers’ lead to 12-0 and Dohm capped the scoring in the 86th minute when he tapped a ball in the net from a yard out.
The Tigers viewed Friday’s game as an important game to prepare for today’s SWL game against Durango.
“We definitely want to get a win against Durango,” Gibbons said. “This game was important to prep us for a tougher opponent.”
Fruita Monument 1, Durango 0: Peter Martinez took a pass from Kyle Breeden in the fifth minute and scored, then the Wildcats turned things over to the defense.
Durango (4-3-1, 1-1-1 SWL) outshot the Wildcats (3-6, 2-2) 10-4 but couldn’t get the ball past keeper Scott Mende, who made 10 saves.
Central 4, Moffat County 3: Tied 3-3 in the second half, the Warriors passed the ball just like they practice to set up the winning goal in the 61st minute.
Cory Rhodes passed to Brady Carroll, who fed Matt Miller for the winner. Carroll assisted on all four of Central’s goals.
Leo Herman scored twice in the first 10 minutes of the game for Central (6-2) and Josh Pettingill tied the game at 3-3 in the 56th minute after Moffat County had taken a 3-2 lead.