MHS boys soccer Brayden Brown v Palisade Aug. 27

Montrose High School striker Brayden Brown (6) works for space during a game against Palisade at MHS on Friday, Aug. 27, 2021. (Josue Perez/Montrose Daily Press) 

Desperate to snap a three-game losing streak, Montrose boys soccer visited Grand Junction Central on Thursday with eyes set on returning to .500.

For the Indians (7-7, 2-5 in conference play), a pair of second-half scores did the trick.

After a scoreless first half between the Indians and Warriors, Montrose’s offense delivered when needed most. With the Indians’ defense holding the Central scoreless through 80 minutes, the two goals were plenty in the 2-0 win.

The victory helped Montrose recover from its worst stretch this season. After the Indians defeated these same Warriors 6-0 at home late last month, they lost 4-1 to Fruita and 5-0 to Durango.

The start of this week didn’t get any better. On the road facing Glenwood Springs, Montrose forced overtime with both teams tied 2-2. But the Demons dealt the Indians another blow, scoring in the first overtime to win 3-2.

The loss dropped Montrose to 6-7, the first time the Indians were under .500 all season despite outscoring their opponents this season 39 to 26. In Southwestern League play, though, they’ve managed just 11 scores to their opponent’s 15.

It’s hardly what the Indians envisioned when the 2021 campaign started, eager to capture a third straight Southwestern League championship. But injuries piled up. They had a target on their back, so teams started to come at them harder. They lost their leading scorer in Aiden Harrell, who left the team due to personal reasons.

It’s an extensive laundry list of hurdles the Indians have had to overcome, but they’ll have one last shot to show why, despite the hits of adversity, they’re still a playoff bound team.

Montrose will host Durango (11-1-2, 5-1-1 in SWL) next Friday at 5 p.m., the Indians’ final game of the regular season. As of Friday, Montrose is ranked No. 29 in the 4A boys soccer RPI, in playoff contention (the top 32 teams qualify).

If Montrose were to lose on Friday, it likely won’t set them back too much in the RPI, considering Durango is currently at No. 5 and one of the best teams in 4A.

A win, though, likely ensures Montrose’ will have a spot in the postseason field.

Josue Perez is a staff writer for the Montrose Daily Press

Josue Perez is a staff writer for the Montrose Daily Press

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