A pair headers seals win for Devils
GYPSUM – Eagle Valley girls soccer pregame warmup is more than a formality.The Devils send balls from the side of the field into the box, where players crash the net, looking to score. After the Devils saw their 3-1 lead cut in half by a Moffat tally Friday in Gypsum, and then almost disappear a minute later, it was time to put all that practice to work.Eagle Valley fed the ball from the flank and scored one header in the 80th minute, then one again in injury time to defeat Moffat County 5-2.”We worked a lot on crashing the net and it was good to see it effective this time,” said Devils coach Jenn Marut.The Devils’ Sarah Hoza, who netted a header and fed teammate Yvette Parra for another, was pumped with her team’s offensive output.”We just wanted to score,” Hoza said. “We (crash the net) every day in practice and in warmups before games.”
With the win, Eagle Valley sent off its seniors on a high note in their final home game.”They went out with a bang – that’s what we wanted,” Marut said.But the celebration isn’t done for the Devils just yet. Thanks to some incentives from Marut, Eagle Valley will be getting dinner and a day at the amusement park.”I made a promise to the girls – if they headed the ball in, we’d go to Sado’s, and we’d go to Six Flags if we got two headers,” Marut said. “I’m not going back on my word – we’ve gotta go.”Moffat, which trailed by 2-0 at halftime, used some incentives of its own to give Eagle Valley a tight game. The Bulldogs Shaylyn Kawcak rifled a shot 15 minutes into the second half, then after the Devils regained the lead at 3-1, Kawcak netted another with about five minutes left in the game.”Her parents offered her some money if she scored some goals, so she decided to turn it on,” said Moffat coach Seth Young.
All game, the Devils’ Tania Silva disrupted Bulldogs’ scoring opportunities around the Devils’ box. Silva used her speed to mark Moffat forwards and had several perfect slide tackles, including one in the box right after Moffat pulled to 3-2.”Their sweeper was good and fast,” Young said, referring to Silva.”(Tania) was playing amazing,” Hoza said “She gives us the fire from the back to pull it out.”Eagle Valley moved the ball well around the full field, stringing passes from the back to the midfield and springing forwards toward the Moffat box.”They were passing, going to the ball and playing aggressive,” Marut said. “Mackenzie DeGroat was playing aggressive – it was a side of her I’ve never seen.”Maria Ruiz was also a force at midfield, using her body to win possession on several occasions.
The Devils opened the scoring in the 13th minute when Annika Sandberg rushed into the box and slammed home a ball that came from across the field.In the 30th minute, a Moffat hand ball in the box gave the Devils a chance to break away from the Bulldogs, who had outchanced the Devils up to that point.Hoza delivered, roofing a ball into the back of the onion bag.Only a few minutes after Hoza slammed one off the frame in the 60th minute, Nicole Luczkow buried a left-footed shot from the top of the Moffat box.In the 80th, Hoza sent a high cross into the box that Parra calmly headed past the Moffat keeper. Only a minute later, with the Devils’ sideline still cheering, Luczkow crossed a pass from the left flank to the right edge of the box. Parra headed it to the left side of the box, where Hoza headed it past the diving Moffat keeper. The Devils, who finish at 3-10-0 in the 4A Western Slope play Tuesday in a non-league match against 3A Aspen.Sports Writer Ian Cropp can be reached at 748-2935 or email@example.com.