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CMS Soccer: Back-to-Back American League Champions 11.17.10
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Craver Middle School’s varsity soccer team arrived at Dutch Clark stadium Saturday morning determined and prepared to defend their title as American League Champions. The game was against Connect Charter School, Craver’s toughest competitor this season. Craver knew what had to be done and they were ready. “We’re gonna go out there and do exactly what we’ve done all season” said Kyle Spencer, Craver’s Assistant Coach.

They started the game on fire. “Defense wins games” said Holly Kelley, Craver’s Head Coach “and we have an incredible defense” she added. Craver’s defenders, Captain Riley Brodie, Caleb Phipps, Chelsea Stallberg, Michael Palcic, McLaren “Gage” Duewiger, and keepers Nicolas Gowin and Justin Griffith, proved to be practically impenetrable allowing only eight goals in nine games. Six of those goals, however, were scored by Connect in their two regular season match-ups. Saturday Craver’s defense held Connect to an impressive four shots on goal in the first half.

The slick conditions of the artificial turf made it difficult for Craver’s offense to plant for a descent shot. Craver’s offense, who averages 25 shots per game, took only five shots in the first half of Saturday’s match. The half ended 0-0. A few adjustments at half and Craver took control of the game, doubling their offensive attack to ten shots while holding Connect to only one. Connect wasn’t going to give up. They fought hard and managed to block every shot Craver took. At the end of regulation play neither team had scored.

The game was sent into sudden death overtime. Connect won the toss but that didn’t matter. Craver was more determined than ever to keep the title. Connect passed the ball to start the overtime period and midfielder Justin Griffith immediately stole it. He passed it outside where midfielder Eddie Phelps was moving. That began the 10 shot attack Craver launched in less than 7 minutes of the overtime period. Madison Schwab put up three shots, Griffith and Phelps each shot twice, Bo Gookin, Sarah Munoz, and McLaren “Gage” Duewiger also notched shots in the attack. The game ended 1-0 on a penalty kick that was shot by Phelps. The team now holds back-to-back varsity soccer titles in a league that includes several District 70 and District 60 middle schools; as well as, teams from Custer County, Freemont County and Ft. Carson.

Craver put up some impressive stats this season. In addition to holding opponents to 8 goals, Craver’s defense also held their opponents to only 70 shots on net, an average of less than 8 shots per game. While Craver’s offense, Captains Bo Gookin and Madison Schwab; forwards Sarah Munoz, Nicholas Maroney, and Nathan Himmelberg; and midfielders Eddie Phelps, Hunter Kelley, Justin Griffith, Nicolas Gowin, Tate Williams, Danielle Hall, and Rachel Maroney, took 222 shots on net scoring 33 points.

“These players are winners on and off the field” said Kelley. They are not just great athletes; they are also great students and citizens. “Your team sets a great example for the league in how you play the game and in sportsmanship” said Stuart Szemaraj, Director of Coaching for the Pueblo Ranger’s soccer club.

Congratulations to all the players and coaches.

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including Colorado City, Rye, San Isabel, Beulah and Hatchet Ranch.

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