Dawson holds off Vail Mountain School, 3-2 | VailDaily.com

Dawson holds off Vail Mountain School, 3-2

Vai Mountain School's Olivia Giaccio of Vail Mountain School moves the ball towards the Dawson goal on Friday in East Vail. The Gore Rangers fell to the Mustangs, 3-2.
Chris Dillman | Special to the Daily |

EAST VAIL — Let’s do this again in Denver.

The Dawson School earned some revenge against the Vail Mountain School in a state-title game rematch on Friday as the Mustangs held off the Gore Rangers, 3-2, on Friday at Bandoni Alumni Field in East Vail.

“That was a great game,” Dawson coach John Siegrist said. Freshman keeper (Katie Gallop), she was great. Everyone played well. It was just a good game, a battle between two good teams. It could have gone any way.”

The Mustangs took a shocking 3-0 in the first half, and Vail Mountain responded with a furious charge in the second half, which was interrupted by a 1-hour, 21-minute lightning delay. While it was a tale of two halves, both teams probably wouldn’t mind doing this again down at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Denver in the state-title game later this month.

What happened?

From the VMS point of view, what made this game strange was that VMS probably had the better run of play in the first half and was down 3-0. That’s because speedy striker Hannah Isenhart had two breakaways, which turned into goals. Also credit Emma Grizack with a brilliant free kick, which turned into third goal.

“The scenario at halftime was one of the more difficult to address,” VMS coach Bob Bandoni said. “In my mind, we were the stronger side, doing everything right and you look at the scoreboard and we’re not winning.”

Give credit to Dawson. The Mustangs scored more goals than the Gore Rangers, thus winning the game. They were better on Friday.

That said, the field completely tilted in the second half.

Sydney Sappenfield scored twice on free kicks early in the half, and the Gore Rangers were rolling.

“We came out in the second half with the whole attitude of pushing on,” VMS’ Katie Alonzo said. “No one went out with a pessimistic attitude. The game wasn’t over and we were ready to fight. I’m pretty proud of our team’s elevated play.”

The Gore Rangers looked like they had the equalizer when Gallop made an outstanding save on the Gore Rangers’ Tess Johnson. Gallop also came up big on a Sappenfield free kick late. The freshman keeper definitely earned the privilege of picking her seat on the bus for the ride home.

Break out the orange

Vail Mountain finished the season at 11-2, while Dawson punches in at 11-2-1. Likely, Dawson nabbed the No. 1 seed from VMS with the win. Both teams will be among the top four in Class 2A, and that means a bye through Tuesday’s first round.

The 2A quarterfinals are on Friday and VMS will be at home on Friday against an opponent to be determined, and the Gore Rangers are eager to defend their title.

“I actually think it’s really critical in this last week we’ve had really competitive matches,” Bandoni said. “The results don’t reflect where we are. The players are forward-looking now. We can’t wait to get into this tournament and play it.”

Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934, cfreud@vaildaily.com and @cfreud.