It didn’t matter how the Durango High School girls soccer team got it done, but it did against Telluride on Monday night at DHS in a 1-0 victory.
The Demons had plenty of opportunities to score, but it was freshman forward Ava Konikowski’s goal in the fourth minute that ended up being the difference. She received a ball in the box from Caroline Knight, who crossed it from the right flank, and Konikowski took one touch, found her composure and calmly put it away. It was the first goal of her career in a Demons uniform.
The Demons (3-2) have rattled off three consecutive wins and have notched two consecutive shutouts.
Head coach Jonathan Berzins was pleased with the result but looked for his side to be a bit more clinical in front of goal.
“I thought it was the best we’ve started a game all season,” Berzins said. “Energy was high, movement was great, and after we tucked the ball away, I thought we got a little too comfortable. We had a lot of chances in the attacking third, and to not put another one away was frustrating, but it’s always a bonus that you’re creating that many chances. I think equally important is that we’ve gotten back-to-back shutouts.”
After the Demons took the lead, they kept up the pressure and had chance after chance but were not able to score a second goal. Forward Jael Larson had a breakaway opportunity in the 23rd minute, but Telluride goalie Claire Shaver made one of a number of good saves.
Durango took the 1-0 lead into halftime without conceding a shot attempt.
In the second half, Telluride (3-3, 3-2 2A Region 4) eased into the game and created pressure after it was unable to do so in the first 40 minutes.
“The way our girls came out in the second half was much better,” said Miners head coach Vidal Cubero Sobrados. “(Durango) kind of pushed us around a little bit in that first half, and we were a bit more aggressive. At halftime, we told them that they had to be more aggressive, and when we finish this game, they’ll know they played Telluride. We had a few chances but just couldn’t find that equalizer.”
The best chance for the Miners came in the 46th minute. Senior forward Claudia Betz got under the ball and tried to play it forward, but the ball hit the crossbar and DHS junior goalkeeper Emily Badgley corralled it to make sure there was no rebound opportunity.
Larson kept applying pressure, as she had three consecutive shots for DHS, two of which bounced off of Shaver’s hands and hit off of the post but did not go in.
Telluride made one last push in the game’s final 10 minutes, but Durango’s back line held firm to preserve the clean sheet.
“They didn’t have any clean looks to goal, and we stayed super organized,” Berzins said. “Their coach did an excellent job making adjustments at halftime to figure out a couple of things, which opened up a couple of holes for us to get better at.”
DHS will hit the road to play Fruita at 6 p.m. Friday.