Devils earn season sweep against Palisade |

Devils earn season sweep against Palisade

Ian Cropp

PALISADE – Two days after beating Steamboat Springs, a tried Eagle Valley soccer team pulled out a road win against Palisade Saturday, 7-4.”We weren’t as on as we were Thursday, but I was expecting that,” said Eagle Valley coach Chad Sloniker. “It wasn’t bad considering all the (Homecoming) distractions. Our team last year wouldn’t have been able to do what we did this year.”The Devils and Bulldogs traded goals in the first half, but Eagle Valley pulled away in the final 40 minutes on a muddy field to improve to 5-3-1 in the 4A Western Slope.Palisade held a 3-2 lead late in the first half, but Cesar Castillo scored one of his two goals for the Devils on a penalty kick following a Palisade handball in the box. “We struggled at first. We weren’t quite awake, but we fought through it, which is a new attribute for this team,” Sloniker said.Castillo also had three assists.”He keeps racking it up,” Sloniker said.Mike Smith and Gilberto Martinez each had two goals. “(Mike) is doing well for us with Cesar getting a lot of the (defense’s) attention,” Sloniker said.Sage Smith netted his first varsity goal on a scramble in the box off a corner kick.Tuesday, Eagle Valley plays Battle Mountain in Eagle-Vail at 4 p.m.”I was glad we didn’t look past Palisade,” Sloniker said. “Guys that have been on the team for four years haven’t come close to beating Battle Mountain. The attitude is different for us, but we still have to prove ourselves.”(Battle Mountain coach) David Cope does an amazing job with his team. I keep telling my kids winning is a tradition and it doesn’t graduate.”Sports Writer Ian Cropp can be reached at 748-2935 or Vail, Colorado

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