Good game, not enough goals | VailDaily.com

Good game, not enough goals

Shauna Farnell

Bret Hartman/Vail DailyEagle Valley's John Gabriel heads the ball as Moffat County goalie Malcolm Hillewaert makes the save Saturday in Gypsum. Moffat won, 5-3.

GYPSUM – After its match against Moffat High School, Eagle Valley’s first order of business will be to let the score reflect the game.The Devils dominated the game Saturday in Gypsum, but lost, 5-3.”I think our problem is we’ve been coming out flat,” said Brady Grayson, who scored the second goal for the Devils. “We just proved that we need to come out with a lot more intensity. When we come out flat, they just get those quick goals.”Indeed, it took Eagle Valley well into the first half to get its game on, during which time Moffat put a pair of goals into the net. By the end of the first half, however, it was obvious which team had possession of the ball more frequently.Offensive MVP Cesar Castillo put a shot into the upper left corner, and his team stepped into the wake and joined forces.

“I thought we dominated,” said Eagle Valley head coach Chad Sloniker. “We had our game plan in, but they capitalized on every opportunity they had.”At the start of the second half, Moffat took the ball downfield and with some quick passing action, faced Devils goalie Trevor Grayson one-on-one. They snuck the ball past him, and a defensive rally ensued, during which both teams fought for midfield connections and the ball went from one turnover to the next.”We controlled it. We didn’t panic,” Sloniker said. Still, Moffat had a few breakaways, and put another score in, this time placing it perfectly out of stretching range over Grayson’s head.Finally Brady Grayson took charge on offense and started aiming for the net. His first couple of attempts failed, but he made up for it with a well-placed header that hit dead-center over the Moffat keeper’s head.

“Luckily, we were able to recuperate and get going,” he said, admitting that scoring on headers takes some practice.This opened the door for an offensive surge from Eagle Valley. With a quick pass-around in front of the net involving almost each member of the attack, Castillo tapped it in to bring the score to 4-3, Moffat.”I thought we played fine,” he said. “But we could have done better on offense, for sure. We could have easily scored another five goals.”Moffat came back with gusto, but Eagle Valley’s defense, headed up by MVP Dave Earle, shut it down one time after another. Moffat got the ball and snuck it into the net one more time before Eagle Valley took possession and kept it, but failed to bank on a couple of opportunities in front of the net. Still, the Devils proved that passing was something they could thrive on. Then the game fizzled to a close without further scoring.

“We definitely took some steps forward today,” Sloniker said. “We didn’t win the game, but we had some small victories. They didn’t have very many chances, but when they had them, they put them in the net and we didn’t. But, I’m happy with it. Our passing game has been a struggle, and we took some steps forward.”The Devils take on Paonia Thursday at home.Staff Writer Shauna Farnell can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 610, or sfarnell@vaildaily.com.Vail, Colorado