Some losses mean more than others.
For the Delta High School boys soccer team, a 7-0 loss to Roaring Fork and a 5-3 loss to Basalt will be teaching tools moving forward for a rebuilding squad.
Against Roaring Fork on Tuesday, the seemingly large loss boils down to two things: one great half of defensive soccer and an outstanding goalkeeping performance from Kyler Parker.
The Rams (9-1) are ranked No. 9 in 3A, but the Panthers (0-10) held them to only two goals in the first half.
Delta coach Elaine Wood said the first half of the game will be a teachable moment for the rest of the season.
“The kids finally figured out how do some of the defensive things we’ve been working on,” Wood said. “We were more physical in the game, playing shoulder-to-shoulder and being first to the ball.”
While defense was the focus of the first match last week, the game against Basalt saw an offensive resurgence. On Saturday, the Panthers fell behind 3-0 to the Longhorns (2-8) at halftime but responded with three goals in the second half. Three more goals were called back, with one waved off on an indirect kick that found the net and two more taken back by offsides.
“We just weren’t as focused as we needed to be in the first half,” Wood said. “Then we had a conversation at halftime and the whole thing changed.”
Sophomore James LaBounty scored twice and assisted on the other goal, which was scored by senior Ignacio Gomez. Nathan Black, Lorenzo Checchi, Ku Moo and Cha Pa had attempts on goal.
Now, the future focus will be playing at their highest level for a complete game.
“We have to maintain that intensity and that’s something that’s hard to do,” Wood said. “That comes with that intense conditioning, learning fundamentals and game knowledge.”