PARACHUTE — Stop giving your coach a heart attack.
Vail Mountain School soccer fell behind 2-0 for the second-straight game — this time Thursday at Grand Valley in the 3A Slope opener — before rallying for a 6-2 victory against the Cardinals.
“My heart rate was up for quite some time today,” said VMS coach Pete Petrovski, who is still among the living today.
The weather was nasty down in Parachute, but the Gore Rangers (3-1 overall and 1-0 in the Slope) also started slow. VMS had several early scoring chances, but did not convert.
Grand Valley was more than happy to take advantage of the opening and jumped out to a 2-0 lead.
“I think one of the things we need to do is get our forwards to relax and finish our opportunities,” Petrovski said. “We got four or five chances, and we’ve got to slot a few of those in. We need to get a little more focus right off the bat. But, for a high school team, going from the van to the field is challenging.”
Trevor Sheldon to Clay Kirwood got VMS going. This was part of magnificent play from the left side of the midfield for the Gore Rangers. Sheldon and freshman Eric Zdechlik played a big role in transition for VMS.
Gore Rangers senior Billy Mitchell was Johnny-on-the-spot during the closing minutes of the half. Grand Valley’s keeper mishandled a cross through the box, but Mitchell followed the flight of the ball and smashed it home for the equalizer.
“I thought we were tense and that took all the pressure away,” Petrovski said.
VMS gets rolling
And then the floodgates opened for VMS.
Garrett Cerny got what would be the game-winner. Zdechlik had a beautiful one-timer from the top of the box to make it 4-2. VMS was missing senior Brandon Rosenbach (concussion), so Ryan Schmidt went back to center back. After a little shuffling, Schmidt moved up to center midfield and was back in the flow of the attack. Schmidt got the credit for an own goal, which was nice karma payback for the crossbar he hit Tuesday against Lake County.
Kirwood and Sheldon played a little give-and-go for VMS with the former getting the team’s sixth and final score.
Next up for VMS is a nonconference game at Aspen today at 11 a.m. The two teams play the league tilt Oct. 17 in East Vail.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 and firstname.lastname@example.org.