At home in Edwards, Vail Mountain wins 3-1
Vail, CO Colorado
EDWARDS, Colorado ” Vail Mountain girls soccer wasn’t playing on its home pitch, but the Gore Rangers still had home-field advantage in their game Tuesday against Rangely.
Snow may have moved VMS down to Freedom Park in Edwards, but the Gore Rangers were right at home in many respects in a 3-1 win against the visiting Panthers, right down to the tailgating led by Tony Ryerson, Carder Lamb and the rest of the boys soccer team on hand.
“(Tony) actually said he might leave me a burger after the game,” said Sally Ryerson, who had VMS’ final score.
Sally’s brother did indeed deliver on the promise, and VMS (3-1-1) delivered on another three points in its marathon run. Tuesday’s tilt was the team’s fifth in eight days, and VMS still has Grand Valley at Bandoni Alumni Field on Thursday at 4 p.m.
With the condensed schedule, the Gore Rangers quickly put away the game with all three of its goals in the first half and then used the rest of the match as a glorified practice.
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“What became evident right away was that this was going to be an opportunity for us to layer another aspect of the attack that we want and the pattern of play that we want,” VMS coach Bob Bandoni said. “We’ve had a couple of seriously-injured players (Harper Kaufman and Taylor Biegler) and both of them got in today and got the opportunity to get a number of touches on the ball.”
VMS wasted no time, applying early pressure in the first half. That bore fruit four minutes in as Kelly Lindsay found the onion bag for a 1-0 lead.
Rangely answered as the Panthers’ Rosalie Coombs capitalized on an ill-advised journey outside the box by VMS’ Lily Grisafi.
Perhaps taking a page out of Edwards’ usual home team ” Battle Mountain ” the Gore Rangers responded by scoring on a short corner-kick set piece. Mia Bandoni tapped the ball in towards teammate Misha Harrison, who crossed it to Kaufman for the game-winner.
While Rangely appeared distinctly chilled, VMS was just warming up.
“I’m used to being in the speed suit all the time,” said Ryerson who’s a Nordic skier during the winter season.
So Tuesday probably seemed balmy and she seized her opportunity late in the first half with a shot from the right side at a very sharp angle.
“From that angle, it is really tough,” Ryerson said. “I was surprised it went in. With our system there always has to be somebody in the 18 who receives the cross, but that one happened to go in.”
With the loss, Rangely fell to 1-3 overall and 1-2 in the 3A Slope.
“We have six new players, four who are new to soccer and I have 13 who are on the squad. So I’m pretty proud of them,” Panthers coach Kris Denny said. “Defensively, they’ve pretty much got it. I’ve got to work on their offense, their passing game. I’m pretty proud of how they’ve played.”
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Editor’s note: Vail Mountain School senior Sean Minett is an intern with the Vail Daily. He also covered Tuesday’s game. Here is his take on the Gore Rangers’ 3-1 over Rangely Tuesday:
EDWARDS, Colorado “During a frigid afternoon with flurries of snow at Freedom Field in Edwards, behind an early goal and consistent dominance throughout, VMS girls soccer extended its winning streak against Rangley to three with a 3-1 victory Tuesday.
Freshman Kelli Lindsay netted a goal in the fourth minute of the game off a cross from the left side which bounced around in the box and onto her powerful boot. The goal is one of many notched by the strong freshman class at VMS. Coach Bob Bandoni and the Rangers are starting six freshman each game with many more contributing off the bench.
After keeper Lily Grisafi came off her line at an inopportune moment which ended in a Rangley goal in the 20th minute, senior Harper Kaufman converted on a play taken straight out of the Battle Mountain playbook. The David Cope-esque play started when Mia Bandoni served Misha Harrison a short corner which was crossed into the box to an oncoming Kaufman, who easily drove the ball home.
Following up on her brother Tony’s storied high school soccer career, freshman Sally Ryerson scored an unassisted goal in to end the first half. The ball was driven into the box from deep within Panthers territory and off a Rangley defender’s leg into the back of the net.
“I was definitely pleased with the goal,” Ryerson said, “But I want a better one next time.”
Rangley made notable changes in its game plan in the second half of the game which resulted in shutting out the high-octane VMS offense scoreless in the second half. When asked about not being able to score in the second half coach Bandoni said “I wasn’t really focused on scoring goals; I was more concerned about the level of play. I thought our level of play was much higher in the second half. We were not playing to level we aspire to in the first half, but I think the girls responded well in the second half.”
The visibly-spent VMS squad was subbed early and often having played five games in the last eight days and playing another on Thursday against Grand Valley. While Bandoni said that the low temperature during the game did not affect his team’s play or morale, he did want to keep his team relatively injury free after the Rangers took a hit earlier last week, losing Kaufman and Taylor Biegler to sprained ankles.
Having already posted a 3-1-1 record, the Rangers will look to improve against Grand Valley this Thursday.
“In the game, there was important development not only for the game, but for the season,” Bandoni said, “But the question is if we can continue to develop in small spaces and under pressure.”
The coach’s questions may be answered Thursday at 4 p.m. at Bandoni Alumni Field, where it continues to snow.