Lady Panthers blanked by rivals

M-CHS girls soccer team shutout at home by Durango Lady Demons

Ellen Koppenhafer stops and takes control of the ball in front of Durango’s Brooke Milliet Tuesday evening at Johnson Field. Enlargephoto

Journal/Sam Green

Ellen Koppenhafer stops and takes control of the ball in front of Durango’s Brooke Milliet Tuesday evening at Johnson Field.

A defensive battle ensued the first 33 minutes of a rivalry soccer match between Montezuma-Cortez and Durango Tuesday.

But it was Lady Demon Sarah Bates that broke the camels back with a solo shot that gave Durango a 1-0 lead. That score stood at halftime.

However, Bates’ goal broke the Lady Panthers’ back in the second half. Montezuma-Cortez High School couldn’t keep pace in the final 40 minutes. The Lady Panthers eventually lost, 5-0.

“We had some unlucky bounces,” M-CHS coach Nate Ross said. “We were a little bit slow shifting from side to side, a little bit loose on our marks. A lot of goals have been scored on us from free kicks. But that tells me we’re playing very, very good defense on the field. We just have to tighten up a little bit and play a little bit better on other team’s free kicks.”

The Lady Panthers (3-6-1, 1-4 5A/4A Southwestern League) had opportunities to score. Ellen Koppenhafer booted a free kick from beyond midfield that nearly flew over the outstretched arms of Durango goalkeeper Karlee Mulkey. She had another fingertip catch and save when Lady Panthers’ captain Baylee Lindsley’s 30-foot, free kick almost hit the back of the net. In the end, nothing got by Mulkey, and Durango (5-3-1, 3-1 SWL) piled it on M-CHS sophomore goalie Brianna Funk.

Two Lady Demons with the same name broke the game wide open for the visitors. Amanda Urban netted a free kick in the 47th minute that snuck under Funk’s legs.

In the 63rd minute, Amanda Jones scored a free kick from 40-feet that went in the top right corner of the net to give Durango a 3-0 lead. The fourth goal came from Urban’s second free kick that bounced over Funk.

The final margin came when Shannelle Bogus netted one in extra time for Durango.

“Some (of those) saves, Bri normally saves. It’s just one of those things where the ball just bounces the wrong way for you,” Ross said. “But, that ball has got to get through 10 players before it gets to Bri.”

The Lady Panthers feel they can play better.

“We all kind of let down as a team and lost focus. We just need to work past that and push harder,” Lindsley said. “If we can get together and do our best, all of us at once, not just one player or a couple, I think we can definitely dominate. It think we could do a lot better and maybe get some wins.”

M-CHS will conclude its home season with league matches on Friday and Saturday against Fruita Monument and Grand Junction at 5 p.m. and 11 a.m. The match with Grand Junction is senior day.

“Right now, I’m starting to lean toward just getting that win. It feels so great to win,” said Lindsley about winning on senior day.

Reach Bobby Abplanalp at bobbya@cortezjournal.com.

Amanda McAliney, of Durango, and Abby Engel, of M-CHS, go after the ball Tuesday. Enlargephoto

Journal/Sam Green

Amanda McAliney, of Durango, and Abby Engel, of M-CHS, go after the ball Tuesday.

Kenna Tarr collides with Durango’s Lauren Milliet, as the two battle for the ball Tuesday. Durango beat the Lady Panthers, 5-0. Enlargephoto

Journal/Sam Green

Kenna Tarr collides with Durango’s Lauren Milliet, as the two battle for the ball Tuesday. Durango beat the Lady Panthers, 5-0.