FREDERICK — The Frederick girls soccer team couldn't have asked for a better result in Thursday's season opener.
But in their path to triumph over Fort Lupton, a 7-0 thumping over the Blue Devils, there was no shortage of physical play which came back and bit the Warriors with a 24-hour turnaround for game No. 2 on Friday.
A short bench and a more organized Pueblo County as an opponent proved to be too much, as the visiting Hornets ran away with a 3-0 victory at the FHS soccer pitch.
After getting a 1-0 lead in the first half of what was their season opener, Pueblo County continued to transition well in the second half, and a pair of goals just about five minutes apart put Frederick in the pressure cooker. Turned out, they just couldn't get much going as they're still trying to figure out a few things.
"They were a better team than Fort Lupton, but we got the snot kicked out of us plain and simple (physically) and we had five girls in with the trainer before this game," Frederick head coach J Doehring said after the contest, which featured a heavy haze of smoke settling over the field from an unknown source. "Playing two days in a row, and this being their first game ... it just didn't match up.
"But we could have came out and played better. We've changed our shape a little bit from last year and we still haven't fully learned how to play that way yet. We're still learning roles."
Pueblo County was very much an unknown opponent to the Warriors, but they were 7-7-1 last year and returned most of their attack including now-sophomore Kaitlyn Hinkle — a 23-goal scorer as a freshman.
Her crafty play was evident from the outset on Friday, scoring the first two of her team's goals and flashing speed that will be hard for anyone in the 4A South Central League to match. Her second goal, coming in the 53rd minute, was a long through ball that she caught up to about 40 yards from the goal and managed to out-pace the FHS defense to get a shot to the far post.
Molly Henrickson took advantage of some space in the middle to fire off County's third goal just a few minutes later.
Frederick's best chances on goal came early as shots were 4-4 over the first several minutes of action. With Brenna Christen out of action after Thursday's win and a few other players unavailable for various reasons, Doehring had but one sub on the bench.
That showed in the second half.
"They were quick, and (Hinkle) was a stud. I thought Sydney Christen did about all that we could ask to defend her," Doehring added. "They just transitioned from defense to offense fast and quick."
Freshman goalie Bree Encinas made several good stops en route to nine saves. Frederick will next take on Longmont in non-league play on Tuesday.
Pueblo County 3, Frederick 0
At Frederick HSPueblo County (1-0) 1 2 — 3
Frederick (1-1) 0 0 — 0
Goals (assists) — Pueblo County: Kaitlyn Hinkle (Molly Henrickson assist), 24th minute; Pueblo County: Hinkle (unassisted), 53rd; Pueblo County: Henrickson (Taylor Johnson), 58th.
Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Pueblo County: Ally Carlo (80-0-5); Frederick: Bree Encinas (80-3-9).