Delta tops Eagle Valley, 5-1, in Gypsum |

Delta tops Eagle Valley, 5-1, in Gypsum

Ian Smith
Vail, CO Colorado
FILE EVGS Maddie Buffington DT 4-9-09

GYPSUM, Colorado ” Yes, it’s not fun losing games, but the Eagle Valley soccer team has bigger goals than reaching the win column.

That’s playing hard every time out and building a soccer program.

The rebuilding project took another step on Thursday. The Devils fell to Delta, 5-1, but Eagle Valley coach Francois Nanin was happy with his team’s effort.

“The Devils, we are a small program,” Nanin said. “A small program like us, we are looking for performance. This is our second season of rebuilding. There’s no way you can look at wins and losses. It’s about performance.”

Eagle Valley hung tough through the first half. Lea Sanford notched a goal for the Panthers (4-4, 3-4), but that’s all they got against Devils goalie Sydni Schlegel. The reason was simple, Nanin said.

Participate in The Longevity Project

The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.

“They played so hard,” the second-year coach said. “The Eagle Valley Devils are playing more sound soccer than last year, but not consistent. If we play as hard as that the rest of the season, they’ll be proud of themselves.”

The story changed after halftime when Eagle Valley started to wear down. Delta gained control against a Devils team playing without two of their midfielders. In the 42nd minute, Sanford scored her second goal of the game when she drilled a shot from outside the box.

“We’ve been working on passing to the top of the 18 and cracking that high shot,” Delta coach Julie Mottern said. “Lea finally got a nice, hard shot. That’s probably one of our better goals this season.”

Kendra Hinton extended the Panthers’ lead to 3-0 minutes later when she snuck past the defense and beat Schlegel.

Even with the deficit, the Devils fought back. Pearl Nanin, who made a number of strong runs in the game, made a perfect left-footed shot into the corner of the net for an Eagle Valley goal.

Megan Cochrane set up the try with a nice pass from the midfield.

“That’s where we’ve struggled all season, controlling the ball at midfield,” Francois Nanin said.

The 3-1 score was as close as the Devils would get. Kayla DeVilbiss and Sadie Carrilo added late goals for Delta to account for the final margin.

“We’ve had a hard time scoring this season,” Motterns said. “We’ve been working on that aspect of the game. We had players get their first goals today.”

Eagle Valley (0-8) is back on action on Saturday when it hosts Palisade at 11 a.m. On Tuesday, the Devils host Battle Mountain.

Sports Writer Ian Smith can be reached at 970-748-2935 or

Support Local Journalism