Coal Ridge squeaks by Vail Mountain
PEACH VALLEY – Vail Mountain School made one mistake all day in Tuesday’s league game at Coal Ridge. It was enough to saddle the Gore Rangers with a 1-0 loss.”No we didn’t have it planned, but, it just worked out that way,” said Titans coach Shawn McElroy of Breanna Smith’s second-minute goal which stood up for a the win. The loss dropped VMS to 2-3-1 on the year.The work which lead to the game’s only score came in practice, McElroy said.”We’ve been working on finishing because we had two or three chances against Rangely that we didn’t put in.”Instead of trying to power the ball through the post, as the Titans attempted to do in the 0-0 overtime tie with Rangely. This time, a softer touch was used.
Jade Murray set up the scoring play with a cross field pass from the right side of the field toward the far low post. The ball slipped through a maze of players in the penalty box over to Smith who redirected it just enough to slip by VMS goalie Cely Brinkman late dive.Given a lead for the first time in two games, the Titans’ defense rallied to the challenge.Coal Ridge forced the Gore Rangers into three offside calls in the first half, each nullifying a Vail offensive push.”We don’t really try to a trap,” McElroy said of his main defenders – Amy Allmon, Alyssa Little, Courtney Hutton and Nalini Blanco.”What we try to do is take a line and push the ball up,” he said. “They work well together to hold that line and I give those girls back there a lot of credit.”Strong goalkeeping from Vanessa Hinojos maintained the shutout.
One of only four sophomores on the Titans’ roster, Hinojos saved nine of the Gore Rangers’ 10 shots on goal.The keeper’s toughest stop of the game came early in the second half. When Vail forward Christiana White, the most active offensive player for the Gore Rangers broke free of the Titans’ defense for a clean shot on goal inside the penalty area.Opting to stand her ground, Hinojos stuck out her left leg and stopped the drive.”Vanessa did an awesome job,” McElroy said. “She stood tall and she was fearless.”Each team mounted a strong drive in the final minutes. Both came up empty.
Murray’s roller, with six minutes left, was a hair wide of the far post. Afterwards, the Gore Rangers were thwarted when an alert Allmon fell back to clear a bounding ball away from Vail’s Molly Etters in the penalty box.VMS hosts CRMS Thursday at 4 p.m. at The Igloo.Vail, Colorado
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