Coal Ridge, VMS soccer play to a 1-1 draw |

Coal Ridge, VMS soccer play to a 1-1 draw

SPT VMS Soccer JM 4-3-12

EAST VAIL – When it comes to 3A Slope soccer this spring, it’s going to be another photo finish.

Coal Ridge (8-1 last season in league) edged the Vail Mountain School (7-0-2) by one point for the crown in 2011. In their 2012 meeting Tuesday at Bandoni Alumni Field in East Vail, the Titans and Gore Rangers played to a 1-1 draw.

The league looks like it will come down to the final day – May 3 – again.

“I thought it was a well-played game,” Coal Ridge coach Brian Blair said. “It went back and forth. It wasn’t like one team was stuck in one area of the field. That makes me feel the tie was justified.”

“There is always a high quality of soccer when we get together,” VMS coach Bob Bandoni said. “We leave the field knowing that we can play with good teams. We had some opportunities in the final third (of the field). That said, they did a lot to disrupt us in the midfield.”

The 3A Slope has nine teams, but it really is a league within a league. It’s Aspen, Basalt, Coal Ridge and VMS, in alphabetical order, and everyone else. Coal Ridge has draws against Aspen and the Gore Rangers. Aspen has the only win, a 4-1 victory over Basalt, against one of the top four. And, by the way, VMS is at Basalt on Saturday.

VMS drew first blood Tuesday, when Katie Scruggs scored in the 12th minute.

“Acacia (Ortiz) had the through ball, and the goalie came out,” Scruggs said.

She didn’t need to continue speaking. With Titans goalie Ciara Chacon charging, the net was wide open. Scruggs tapped it in for 1-0 lead.

VMS’ defense from the run of play was solid, but Coal Ridge on corner kicks is formidable. Alicia Cokley sent the corner into the box and Rebecca Mitchell was there.

“I was going to do a header, but it was a little low, so it went off my face and in,” Mitchell said with a smile.

As long as it’s not off the hands, it counts. Along those lines, VMS made a concerted effort to avoid Coal Ridge corner kicks for the rest of the game.

Both goalies came up big in the two overtimes. Chacon broke up a nice VMS scoring opportunity, intercepting a corner kick. Meanwhile, VMS’s Patricia Herrera made two solid saves in the second extra frame.

Coal Ridge (4-1-2) is at Roaring Fork Thursday at 4 p.m., while VMS (also 4-1-2) heads to Basalt Saturday.

Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 or

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