The tournament, held at the Stenger Soccer Complex, the home fields of the Arvada Edge Soccer Club, included clubs from all around the state but mainly from Denver, Steamboat and Colorado Springs. It was the first attempt by a girls’ team from Telluride to compete at this level and the girls more than held their own. Eight teams made up the division broken into two groups of four. Telluride's girls found themselves drawn against the host Arvada Edge, Colorado Rush Shooting Stars and the Colorado Storm Red Hots.
In the first game the girls showed no sign of fatigue from the long drive north and ran out winners against the Shooting Stars, 4-1. Keaton McCargo opened the scoring with a breakaway, beating two defenders to the ball and slotting under the advancing keeper. Renny Engbring added the second in a goalmouth scramble and then Sarah Wontrobski and Rachel Hampton added one each in the second half to finish off a great result.
Next up was the home team Arvada Edge. The Telluride girls lost a little focus in high wind and struggled to find the net, but so did their opposition and the game ended in a scoreless tie. That meant Telluride had to beat the Colorado Storm Red Hots to reach the championship game.
After a good night's sleep the girls were ready for the challenge Sunday morning. Telluride pushed forward early and almost surprised the much bigger, stronger and faster opposition but then went behind to a well struck shot from just inside the right corner of the box, near post, giving Emma Walker-Silverman, the Telluride goalie, no chance. It was a tough start for the team, with the Red Hots quickly going up 2-0, but they kept pegging away and won a corner with about 10 minutes left in the half. Toni Hill and Wontrobski worked a rehearsed short corner resulting in Hill taking a touch from the pass back and rifling one over the keeper's head from the left side of the box making the score 1-2.
But the physical opposition and a couple of lapses in concentration for Telluride resulted in a final score of 1-4 to the eventual winner of the tournament.
That loss meant Telluride played a fourth game that afternoon for third place against the Colorado Rush Mighty Ducks. The girls dominated the Ducks from the start, hustling after every ball, making good runs and clean passes, but no goals. Late in the second half Telluride finally broke through when Juli Stanfield knocked a ball out to Wontrobski on the right wing who beat two players and crossed for Engbring, who took a touch on the edge of the box and drilled a low shot to the keeper's left to put Telluride up 1-0.
Telluride kept piling on the pressure. Gina DiStefano dispossessed a Mighty Duck close to the Telluride penalty area, beat another Duck then stroked a pass up the line to Wontrobski who beat twi defenders with speed and crossed for Ryan Hanley to hit a crisp low shot into the keeper's left corner. The final score found Telluride ahead, 2-0, and winners of the bronze.
Boys Battle It Out in Championship Game
It was the third visit for the Telluride boys to the tournament, who finished in second place in 2006 and third place last year. Coached by Joe James, Henry Lystad and David McGough the boys were ready for action.
They outscored their opposition 8-0 in both of their first two games, before running up against the Littleton Lions in an early morning Sunday game. It was a physical encounter, with Slator Aplin being upended every time he broke away on goal and elbows and arms thrown each time Brendan Kelley, Brooks Rogers and Nicki "The Destroyer" Jones beat a Littleton player to the ball. Telluride's players didn't shirk from the challenge and played their own brand of controlled, passing, attacking football.
A virtuoso hat-trick display from Justice James basically destroyed Littleton. First, Keith Hill won the ball in midfield with a solid tackle and released James on the right wing. After dribbling half the length of the field and beating four players, he coolly slotted the ball inside the right post putting Telluride up 1-0. Next, a 35-yard free kick just under the crossbar increased Telluride’s lead to 2-0. And finally, Hill released Aplin for a breakaway, who beat two players but was then felled in the box and a penalty called. A calm finish from James, low to keeper's left, gave Telluride a final victory of 3-0.
In the championship game the boys came up against a much bigger, faster, stronger team from the Colorado Storm. They were under constant pressure from the start and went down 4-1 with James netting the consolation goal.– Watch Staff Reports