The Demons had outshot the Warriors 15-1 and dominated possession for 30 minutes but trailed 1-0 on the scoreboard. It didn’t add up.
But when the Durango High School girls soccer team looked up at the scoreboard after dominating play for a full 80 minutes, it was a better representation of the work the Demons had put in.
DHS picked up a 5-1 win against Grand Junction Central on senior day Friday at the Riverview Sports Complex in Durango. Leading the charge was DHS senior star Lauren Milliet, who scored three goals in her final home game.
Milliet’s first goal changed the outlook of the game, coming with less than 5 minutes to play in the first half to tie the game at 1. The Warriors had scored on a misplayed shot in the 11th minute, so stealing positive emotions going into halftime was a big coup for the Demons.
“We were dominating, and it was frustrating giving up a fluke goal. At some point, everyone was down in the dumps about it. Getting a goal late in the first half was big to help our momentum,” Milliet said.
Milliet’s first strike came from point-blank range just minutes after fellow senior Laura Lieb had hit the right post and sent a rebound just over the crossbar.
She had a chance to make it 2-1 early in the second half on a penalty kick, but the Division I Colorado College signee pushed her shot wide left to keep the game even.
“I wasn’t thinking. Kind of nervous to get up in front of everyone and take a PK,” said Milliet, daughter of Charlie and Janis Milliet. “I’ve taken a couple this year, so I was just like ‘Oh, I’ll put it back-post like the others.’ I hit it too hard and it went wide. Bummer.”
Milliet’s tenacity picked up from there, and she started putting shots on frame from any and every angle.
She split two defenders with nifty dribbling and blasted a shot to the bottom-left corner of goal for her second of the day.
Minutes later, Milliet let a shot rip from outside the 18-yard box, bending another into the same corner she scored her second.
The three goals gave Milliet 10 this season in nine games played.
“That’s typical Lauren. She knows what’s on the line for us and likes to step up into the moment and be the type of player who is finishing goals, drawing PK’s or setting up teammates,” DHS head coach Dalon Parker said. “She’s feisty, and that’s Lauren at her best.”
Milliet and the DHS attack benefitted by dominating possession almost 90 percent of the game. The midfielders rarely let the ball cross the half line, and DHS senior goalkeeper Jessi Sigilito was rarely tested outside of Hailey Keller’s early goal that spun out of the arms of Sigilito and into the back of the net.
Helping lead the midfield was senior Elizabeth Wiegert, who played it for the first time Friday.
“I was excited for myself and the team, because we played so well,” said Wiegert, daughter of Coby and Jill Wiegert. “We all wanted it so bad.”
DHS tacked on two more goals in the second half, both by sophomore Chloe Taylor, with her second assisted by Lane Arnwine.
“I was stoked for Chloe and to see how excited she was,” Wiegert said. “I can’t wait to see her grow and what all the younger girls bring to the plate for the program in the years to come.”
DHS was playing for more than a win on senior day. After a 1-1 draw with Fruita Monument last Saturday, the Demons knew they had to win all of their final three games to make the Class 4A playoffs.
One down, two to go, with games at Montezuma-Cortez and Grand Junction next week.
“We’re scrapping. We knew our playoffs started (Friday). We had a chance to decide our own future, and we didn’t come out with the result we needed against Fruita,” Parker said. “It put us in a playoff situation for the last three games.
Our mind-set hasn’t changed, but our strategy will start to change a bit. The one thing I know is the girls will work hard. They always work hard.”