Crusaders knock out VMS soccer
DENVER – The score will go down as Denver Christian 5, Vail Mountain 2 in Round 1 of the 3A state soccer playoffs.But the orange-clad Gore Grangers overcame a 2-0 deficit Saturday and were tied with the No. 5-ranked Crusaders with 18 minutes to go. Tied 2-2 at the juncture, Denver Christian scored goals on a penalty kick and two direct kicks.While not thrilled with the officiating, VMS coach Bob Bandoni was proud of his team.”We played with them, no question,” Bandoni said. “We missed some opportunities in the first half. We left the field with the typical empty feeling after a group puts together a collective effort for so many months. We felt as though we could play with them and we did.”Down 2-0 in the first half, VMS got rolling when Patrick Scanlan fed Casey Kleisinger to halve the lead. In the second half, the Gore Rangers scored on what Bandoni described as a “brilliant goal,” high praise from the coach.Kleisinger served a beautiful ball into the box and Sylvan Ellefson soared up into the air for a gorgeous header to tie the game. Though the orange wave’s run stopped in Round 1 in Denver, it was a memorable season in East Vail. VMS finished second in the 3A Slope with a 6-1-3 mark and sported a 9-4-3 record overall.VMS tied No. 2-ranked Basalt, 0-0. But the team’s signature moment came in last week’s state-seeding game when Scanlan scored a golden goal in the snow to beat Denver Lutheran, 2-1.”It was a great season,” Bandoni said. “I think all of us got a lot out of this season in many areas. In no way is anyone feeling that the season is incomplete. It’s a positive sign when people feel that they wanted to go further.”Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 614, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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