Vail Christian girls soccer gives No. 1 Telluride a fight
Short-handed Saints bow out of 2A playoffs after valiant effort on the road
Top-seeded Telluride was not expecting much of a fight from the Vail Christian girls soccer team on Saturday in the opening round of the 2A state playoffs. But a fight is what the Miners got from the opening whistle.
The No. 8 Saints, with only 12 players available on the road against a 10-0 team that had outscored opponents 54-4, gave the Miners all they could handle. Telluride escaped with a 2-1 win after banging home the game winner in the 61st minute, but not before getting a little rattled in the first half.
“In the first two minutes, they were yelling, cussing,” Saints coach Barbara Wilson said of the home team. “They weren’t expecting that. Our girls came out strong.”
The Saints held the Miners scoreless until the 36th minute before a blast from outside the box found its way inside the top post of the Vail Christian net.
The Saints answered just two minutes later when junior Audrey Deck ripped a shot from outside the box into the upper left corner of the Telluride net off an assist from freshman Lindsey Whitton.
The Saints held the Miners to just seven shots on goal and held top scorer Amelie Sante, who had 11 goals coming in, scoreless. But Vail Christian couldn’t force overtime despite 13 shots on the Telluride net.
“We definitely outshot them, we just didn’t get that lucky,” Wilson said.
And with just 12 players, the Saints eventually got caught in some bad positions while trying to keep pace with a team with more depth that could sub in fresh legs.
“I’m super proud of this team,” Wilson said. “I’ve never had a team where every player played their hearts out for all 80 minutes of the game.”
Saints keeper Daisy Palacio made five saves in the losing effort. Wilson also spotlighted the play of freshman Maggie Rothenberg, who locked down Sante and kept her scoreless.
“She shut her down,” Wilson said. “This girl who got 11 goals did not get a goal today.”
The Saints, after making just their second postseason appearance in school history, finish the season 5-3. Telluride moves on to face the winner of Saturday’s game between No. 4 Crested Butte and No. 5 Buena Vista.