Composed TCA downs Air Academy in girls' soccer battle

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Photo - TCA TAKES AIR ACADEMY

TCA junior Alison Smith (5) scores a goal past Air Academy sophomore Liza Louthan (10) in the second half. 

Photos by Isaiah J. Downing
TCA TAKES AIR ACADEMY TCA junior Alison Smith (5) scores a goal past Air Academy sophomore Liza Louthan (10) in the second half. Photos by Isaiah J. Downing

The Classical Academy had its opportunities to score on Tuesday night against Air Academy, but the shots just wouldn't find the goal. Each time the Titans found room to shoot, the ball sailed wide or went directly into the goal keeper's hands.

With just over 10 minutes left to play, though, Alison Smith finally got one to stick to give the Titans a 1-0 advantage that proved to be enough as the Pikes Peak region 4A No. 2 Titans handed the Kadets their first defeat.

"In the game of soccer, if you don't shoot you're not going to score, so I just tried to shoot and I got lucky off a deflection," Smith said of the game-winning goal. "They didn't step fast enough and luckily it deflected in. Overall, I'm glad with the outcome, but we have some work to do."

The Titans (3-0) took more than 20 shots on Tuesday - eight on goal - and just one connected. Katlyn Blacksten had seven saves for Air Academy (3-1).

"This one was frustrating," Titans coach Blake Galvin said. "We got a lot of shots off, we just couldn't finish, (and) couldn't put them in the net. That can be a little frustrating, but I think the girls really persevered and stayed composed, and they just kept playing so I've been really pleased with that."

The first three games for the Titans have each been decided be one goal. Hannah Burgo, TCA's leading scorer last season with 22 goals to lead the 4A Colorado Springs Metro League, has one through three games.

"We've got several new players on the team this year, and I think they are really fitting in well and just doing a great job," Galvin said of what he's seen through the early part of this year. "I'm really pleased so far with where we're at. I think there's a lot of potential and we'll see how that plays out."

Up until this match, the Kadets had blanked each of their previous opponents, outscoring teams 10-0 through three games. On Tuesday, the defense held tough again, keeping the Titans scoreless for 70 minutes until Smith's goal late in the second half.

After TCA dominated possession in the first, the Kadets offense opened up the game more in the second, but couldn't take advantage of scoring opportunities.

"We talked about that (Monday) and before the game (Tuesday) that it's going to be one of those games that one goal might be all we were going to see from either team, so we knew it was going to be a tough game," Kadets coach Espen Hosoien said. "I thought we played hard. The second half was better than the first half for us I think. We created chances. We've got to try to be opportunistic and finish the chances that we have. Usually good teams do that and they win games."