The score was even at the half at 0-0, and stayed that way until well into the second half. The Longhorns ramped up their scoring efforts late in the game, scoring two back-to-back goals with just ten minutes left. The game clock ran out before Telluride had time to rally a counterattack.
“Defensively we played well both halves, and it was an even game the first half,” Forestier says. The Miners wheels came loose in the second, however, sealing the team’s fate to once again miss out on getting through the State Tournament’s first round. The Longhorns will play Peak to Peak this Saturday in the State Tournament’s round of 16.
The Telluride Lady Miners soccer squad was undefeated in their league this season, going 11-0-1 to win the number one spot in their league. It was the third time in four years that the team has taken the league champion title, and the fourth time the team has qualified for the State Tournament. Despite high expectations to break through into the second round (Telluride was ranked 12th while Basalt stood at 21st), this year also marked the fourth time Telluride has gotten kicked out of the State Tournament bracket in the first round.
It was the last game for seniors and team captains Chancee Forestier, goalkeeper Alison Horn, sweeper Shannon Lynch, and Ali Tassone.
“You hate to see any final game for seniors,” THS athletic director Mike Hughes admitted. “We had a couple chances but we just didn’t convert. It was an even battle all the way through, and at the end you hope you can muster one up, but we just couldn’t convert our chances."
The Miners were awarded host status for this first-round tournament game, being higher ranked than Basalt. Snowy conditions in Telluride forced THS to cancel the original match, scheduled for Wednesday afternoon, and reschedule for Thursday in Grand Junction.
Not having that coveted home-field advantage wasn’t, ultimately, the determining factor in the Miner loss – although playing without what would certainly have been a robust hometown crowd surely didn’t help. Though disappointed her team didn’t crack the first-round code in 2011, the pragmatic and ever-upbeat Forestier says the team should still feel pride in their accomplishments this season.
“We still had a great season, and I’m proud of the girls. Basalt just outplayed us, that’s the end. It’s nothing to whine about,” she said Thursday.
The season may have come to an end for THS’ girls soccer squad, but at least one more local team still has some work to do in its post-season. The Telluride/Norwood track and field team is competing at Regionals this weekend in Grand Junction. The State Meet for Track and Field will be held in Denver May 20-22.