Sophia McConnell of Del Norte finds a window to pass the ball to her teammates. McConnell tied for the team lead in scoring with two goals during Thursday evening's game (Courier photo by Stephen Jiron)
CENTER — A strong northeasterly wind ran along the field on Thursday evening. The weather didn’t slow Del Norte soccer (2-2-0) down one bit as the Tigers went up on Center (0-4-0) 6-0 by the time the final buzzer sounded.
In the first half Del Norte played against the wind and even though passes and shots fought the breeze Del Norte was able to create a lead. Goals from Syana Colville, Sophia McConnell and Chloe McComas gave Del Norte a 3-0 advantage. In the eleventh minute McComas hammered in a fourth to further extend the Del Norte advantage. By the time the first half ended it was all Del Norte and things weren’t about to get any easier for the Vikings.
The teams traded field position. The wind wreaked havoc on Center's offensive production. Every time Center would put the ball back in play the wind would push the ball short of it’s intended target to the waiting Del Norte attackers. The new field position gave a lot of favorable looks for the Tigers while the Vikings struggled to move past the center line.
The remainder of the game, save for a couple of incursions by Center, was played with Del Norte on the offensive. According to preliminary stats Center’s goaltender Giselle Almeida faced 10 shots on goal in just the second half saving eight of them.
Midway through the second half a Del Norte rush resulted in a McComas finding some open real estate the windows closed as she centered to Emily Gallegos who made the Tiger lead 5-0. McConnell had also been attempting to find the back of the net for Del Norte in the second half with five shots four of which were on goal. With under ten minutes remaining in the game Kendra Parra steered a pass lateral to find McConnell in front of the net for McConnell's second goal of the day.
The sixth and final goal of the day for Del Norte served to further seal a decided game.
There is a short turn around for both teams as Center will go on the road for the first time this season when they travel to face Montezuma-Cortez (2-2-0) Mar. 31 at 4 p.m. The last time Center faced Cortez’s Panthers was last April and it ended with Center on the wrong end of a 5-0 shutout.
Del Norte will also play on Saturday Mar. 31 when they continue their road trip with a visit to Leadville to face Lake County (2-0-2). Del Norte last saw Lake County last year where the Tigers were victorious by a score of 3-2.