Colorado Sporting downs Pepi’s, 4-0
EAST VAIL ” As Scarlett O’Hara said, “Tomorrow is another day.”
The Pepi’s men’s soccer team certainly hopes so after being routed, 4-0, by Colorado Sporting Premier in its pool-play opener of the Vail Invitational Soccer Tournament Friday at the Vail Mountain School.
“For sure, that’s the only was to look at it,” Pepi’s coach Kyle Mercer said.
Colorado Sporting Premier dominated the hosts from start to finish, earning the full 10 points possible (six for a win, one for each goal scored up to three and one for a shutout.)
“We played well today,” Colorado Sporting Premier coach Gerard Louison said. “We took the chances when they came and scored the goals we needed to score. Many times, we’ve gotten up 2-0 at halftime, and gotten comfortable or complacent. It’s a scary lead. You don’t maintain the killer instinct. Today, we did.”
The killer instinct certainly belonged to striker Jared Blackney who had a hat trick for the visitors.
“It felt good,” the former star at CU-Colorado Springs said. “Our team has played together for a while now, so it’s a lot easier when you’ve played together for a while to finish those easy goals. My teammates did it for me and it was easy enough to put them away.”
Blackney capitalized on an early Pepi’s’ defensive breakdown and beat goalie Josh Ruark in the opening minutes for a 1-0 lead. Ruark hardly could have been blamed for any Colorado Sporting Premier’s goals as he was left hanging early and often.
Midway through the first half, Blackney struck again as Pepi’s seemed to be waiting for an offsides call which never came. The Colorado Sporting striker kept going and ripped the twine.
Blackney completed his trifecta in the second half, and teammate Ryan Slaughter finished the rout.
More to do
One game does not a tournament make for either side. That having been said, Colorado Sporting Premier got a big leg up on winning Pool A of this weekend’s tournament. It faces Union Laguna today at 8 a.m. at the Vail Athletic Field, followed by F.C. Denver Premier at noon at Ford Park.
“We went to get that first win and we want to win the group, and play the second-place team from (Pool C),” Louison said. “That’s the first step of winning the tournament. Our goal is winning the group and then we have a shot at the tournament.”
Pepi’s still can play its way into Sunday’s knockout games by turning things around today. The local 11 has Laguna at noon at the Vail Athletic Field and Denver at 5:45 p.m. on the turf at Freedom Park in Edwards.
Last year, Pepi’s went 1-0-2 in pool play, got its only win in the third game of pool play and still made it to Sunday. The hosts qualified with the quarterfinals with 17 points, a total still attainable in today’s games.
“It’s just going to be more about attitude and trying to put the ball in the back of the net and just taking care of the ball, not giving up that turnover, so they can counter right away,” Mercer said. “That’s what killed us.”
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 748-2934 or email@example.com.