GYPSUM — That’s how you want to start league play. And that’s also a picture-perfect home opener.
Eagle Valley soccer was perfect on both counts on Tuesday night, doubling up Palisade, 2-1, at Hot Stuff Stadium. And that was the perfect antidote after a tough, 3-2, overtime loss at Grand Junction Central in the season opener last week.
“We just talked some tactics, how we recover from our mistakes,” Devils coach Bratzo Horruitiner said. “We changed a few minor details in our formation and it paid off.”
Sophomore Aaron Ledezma broke into the Palisade end and went opposite post with a low liner for a 1-0 lead. Daniel Carillo found the back of the net in the 51st minute. That would be a key goal as the Bulldogs halved the Devils’ lead late in the game.
Horruitiner pulled his team into an airtight defensive mode and held off Palisade’s late desperate attacks. Pressure on both sides of the ball was critical for Eagle Valley.
“We tried to control the ball, and get quick pressure when we didn’t have it,” the coach said. “We were proactive in the midfield. The midfielders worked hard for possession and showed patience when we had the ball.”
Eagle Valley lost its league opener last season at Palisade, 4-1, so the Devils are already ahead of pace when it comes to precious league points.
Next up for the Devils is a road trip to Steamboat Springs. Do note that Eagle Valley was very competitive with the Sailors last year, falling by counts of 2-0 and 1-0. The latter was the score for the road game against the Sailors.
“All I know about Steamboat was what I saw last year,” Horruitiner said. “They’re a good program. I’m assuming it will be a great competition, and, hopefully, we’ll come back with a good result.”
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 and via firstname.lastname@example.org.