EAST VAIL — Touchdown, Gore Rangers.
Nope, different kind of football. The Vail Mountain School soccer team got off to a solid start Thursday afternoon with a 7-0 blanking of Grand Valley at Bandoni Alumni Field.
Peter Smith scored twice, as did Dylan Cunningham. Garrett Cerny, Trevor Sheldon and Ryan Schmidt also found the onion bag.
“We started off a little sluggish, but cleaned it up a little toward the end of the first half,” said first-year VMS coach Pete Petrovski. “We were playing really well in the second half.”
While VMS was never in danger of losing this one — the Gore Rangers led, 4-0, at the half — it was more of an issue of playing the ball to feet rather than trying to contest balls in the air.
To that end, VMS’ Man of the Match was Watts Austen. The outside midfielder helped shut down the Cardinals and was very efficient in moving the Gore Rangers forward.
Hunter Meier and John Linn shared the shutout between the pipes.
Thursday was the first of two meetings between the Gore Rangers and Cardinals, and the second on Sept. 12 in Parachute will be the one that counts toward the 3A Slope table. VMS, nonetheless, will happily take the three points.
The Gore Rangers get a much-stiffer match Thursday when they head to Newcastle to face Coal Ridge, also a league opponent, but a non-league game.
“We’re excited, but we’re taking (the win) with a grain of salt,” Petrovski said. “We understand that Grand Valley is in the fourth year of building their program. We understand where they are and where we’re trying to be. Thursday will be a good test.”
Devils fall in OT
Eagle Valley soccer was in the mix the entire way in a 3-2 season-opening loss at Grand Junction Central.
“We were very competitive,” Devils coach Bratzo Horruitiner said. “We had great ball control. We’re looking pretty good. The result just came on one run of play.”
Eagle Valley has its home opener as well as its first league game Tuesday at 6 p.m. at Hot Stuff Stadium.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 or via firstname.lastname@example.org.