Gore Rangers hooked by Rams | VailDaily.com

Gore Rangers hooked by Rams

Ian Cropp

Preston Utley/Vail; DailyVail Mountain's Tucker Shelden slide tackle for the ball against Raoring Fork's Mark Stover Thursday in Vail.

EAST VAIL – You can’t score if you don’t shoot. And, as Vail Mountain soccer learned on Thursday, no matter how much you shoot, sometimes you just don’t score enough.Roaring Fork goalie Torrey Udall frustrated the Gore Rangers time and again in his team’s 3-1 victory at The Bob. “Torrey is one of the smarter goalies in the league and knows where to be,” said Roaring Fork coach Hadley Hentschel. “He has that great presence in the goal.”Udall finished the game with around 30 saves, but got some help on a few shots.”I let some balls go by me and Alex Hernandez and Mark Stover saved me,” Udall said. On one occasion, Vail Mountain’s Tony Ryerson fired a shot that beat Udall, but Stover was there to deflect the ball into Udall’s hands.Roaring Fork had a nice cushion to work with almost the entire game. A few minutes after the game started, the Rams sent a long goal kick over the head of the Gore Rangers’ defense, and the Rams’ Reyes Torres collected the ball. With only Vail Mountain goalie Jordy Coffey left to beat, Reyes faked left, and then buried the ball in the right side of the net.

“We played a high line and got caught,” said Vail Mountain coach Bob Bandoni. “They had a fast player that would go in behind us, and we paid for it.”In the second half, Reyes scored on a similar play to put the Rams ahead, 3-1. On the kickoff after Vail Mountain pulled to within 2-1 on a Blake Armstrong blast, Roaring Fork attacked right away, sending a long ball over the head of the Vail Mountain defense. Reyes beat Vail Mountain keeper Matt Stovall to the ball, and pushed it around him for the goal.”Their style worked, and ours didn’t,” said Vail Mountain’s Bobby LeGay.Lesson learnedMidway through the first half, the Rams’ Stover launched a shot from 30 yards out over the head of Coffey, to give his team a 2-0 lead.Roaring Fork carried that lead into halftime, much like the last time the two teams met. That game resulted in a tie. This time, however, the Rams preserved their lead.”That was on our mind all game,” Hentschel said. “Having the lead, we had the advantage to play a little bit stronger defense and play our midfielders back more than usual.”

Even with Roaring Fork midfielders dropping back, Vail Mountain mustered plenty of shots on net in the second half. On many of the shots, the ball came from the side and not directly at Udall.”Getting a cross ball lets me use my hands, and is easier than a ball in the center,” Udall said.On the straight away shots, deflections and corner opportunities, Udall was there.”We couldn’t get anything in the back of the net,” LeGay said. “When they got the ball in our half, they got it in (the net). That’s all there is to it.”TalkingHentschel was pleased with his team’s communication.”We connected with our passes and we talked, which we haven’t seen much of this year,” Hentschel said.

In the first half, Vail Mountain had trouble working as a unit.”It was clear that we had a few players that were struggling to find their game,” Bandoni said. “We talked about it at halftime, and in the final 20 minutes, those guys did what it takes to get their game back.”For the latter part of the second half, Vail Mountain kept the ball in the Roaring Fork end.”I was pleased to see our guys not panic,” Bandoni said. “We made adjustments and had seven guys in their box. I think on most days we’d finish, but today wasn’t meant to be.”By the end of the game, both teams had played many of their bench players.Up next for Vail Mountain is St. Mary’s at noon Saturday at The Bob. The Gore Rangers look forward to facing a different goalie.”We can work on finishing, but with all those chances, we should have had more than one goal no matter what,” LeGay said.Sports Writer Ian Cropp can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 608, or icropp@vaildaily.com.Vail, Colorado