Castillo, Eagle Valley sprint past Demons
Vail, CO Colorado
GYPSUM, Colorado ” Cesar Castillo is the proud owner of 31 goals this season, but no one should accuse him of being selfish. His all-out effort Thursday included three goals, two assists and a number of impressive plays.
Behind Castillo’s sterling performance, Eagle Valley scored a key 5-1 win over Glenwood Springs in Gypsum. The Devils regained the lead in the Slope standings with the win, improving to 7-1 in the league. Battle Mountain sits at 6-1.
“We changed our game with Cesar, and I think in the end that became our weakness,” Glenwood Springs coach John Mount said. “We were focusing on him a lot. It took us out of our main pattern.”
Both teams played aggressively in the first half, but neither could crack the scoreboard. Demons’ goalie Kurt Hartmann stoned three Eagle Valley shots to keep the game scoreless, until Castillo’s right foot struck in the 38th minute. The senior made a perfect pass behind two Glenwood defenders to teammate David Shea, who easily beat Hartmann for a 1-0 lead.
It didn’t take long after halftime for the Devils to add another goal. This time Castillo found Nester Escobar on the left side of the box. Escobar ” only a freshman ” drilled a shot to the upper-right corner of the goal to push Eagle Valley’s advantage to 2-0.
“They were just bunching up in the middle and leaving people open,” Castillo said of the constant attention Glenwood gave him. “There was like six people on one person. There is going to be people open.”
Glenwood responded after Escobar’s goal. Ryan Buchanan raced down a long boot from Hartmann, and went around Trevor Grayson to make it 2-1 in the 57th minute.
The Demons nearly tied the game up in the 72nd minute. Erik Pena found open space on the right side of the goal, and only had to shoot past Grayson to knot the score. Unfortunately for Glenwood, Grayson charged Pena and knocked his attempt out of bounds.
“I was planning on going down at the point, because I thought (Pena) was going to shoot on the ground,” Grayson said. “I was about to go down, but I saw him pick his head up. He tried to chip it over me. I just threw my body at it, and I was able to get a piece of it.”
Despite allowing one goal, Grayson played well in net all game for Eagle Valley. Numerous times, the senior leapt to snare balls before they could potentially be headed into the goal by the Demons.
“Trevor has improved a lot,” Rittmiller said. “In the last couple of months, he’s gotten stronger and stronger in the goal position. He’s there. He’s the man.”
With the game in doubt, Castillo took over. After misfiring on a breakaway shot minutes earlier, he was determined to make up for it. Castillo stole the ball from a Glenwood player at midfield and raced the other way for the breakaway goal, this time hitting it past Hartmann for a 3-1 lead.
“I had to get the (one I missed) back,” Castillo said. “That one pissed me off, I had to make it up for that one.”
Castillo made it 4-1 a minute later on nearly an exact same play. Once again, he stole the ball and looked up only to find no one between him and the goal.
“We were rolling the dice a little bit, trying to get the goal,” Mount said. ” The guys knew they were under pressure with the time ticking. It all fell apart there at the end.”
Castillo still wasn’t done. In the 79th minute, Castillo fired a shot from the top of the18 to complete his hat trick and score his 31st goal of the season. In the last five minutes of the game, Castillo scored three goals.
“We have a really strong offense,” Rittmiller said. “It just takes time before our offense figures out their defense. They know what to do.”
Eagle Valley travels to Rifle on Saturday.
Sports Writer Ian Smith can be reached at 970-748-2935 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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