Eagle Valley explodes in second half
Vail, CO Colorado
GYPSUM, Colorado ” Moffat County put a scare into Eagle Valley Tuesday, but luckily the Devils list both David Shea and Cesar Castillo on the roster.
Shea and Castillo each scored hat-tricks to lead Eagle Valley to an 8-3 victory over the Bulldogs.
Even with the comfortable margin of victory, there were anxious moments for the Devils. Moffat County scored three unanswered goals in the first half to send the game into the break tied 3-3.
“We just went in too confident, I think,” Eagle Valley coach Jason Rittmiller said. “I put pressure on the team to start strong, but then they just relaxed. When they saw what happened when we relaxed, they realized we had to play good the whole game. We started putting the pressure on and playing our game again.”
After the Devils exploded for a 3-0 advantage ” thanks to two Castillo goals ” the Bulldogs fought back. Ian Forgay beat the Eagle Valley defense in the 25th minute for Moffat County’s first goal of the game. Minutes later, Tracy Mendoza scored on a curving shot from the left side to cut the deficit to 3-2.
Dustin Carlson capped the Bulldogs’ flurry with a shot to the upper-right corner of the net to knot the score.
The halftime break did wonders for Eagle Valley. The Devils’ offense came back to life behind Shea and Castillo. Only five minutes into the second half, Castillo hit Shea with a beautiful pass behind the defense. Shea took care of the rest, booting the ball into the net for his first goal of the game.
Tuesday marked only the second game Castillo and Shea have both played forward. It’s safe to say Rittmiller will be keeping the same alignment.
“I think we are going to stick with it,” Rittmiller said. “That does things for us. They’re both fast. They handle the ball really well. They communicate with each other.”
Kevin Escobar stretched Eagle Valley’s lead to 5-3 when he cashed in a wide-open opportunity in front the net. Kevin’s brother Marco ” who scored a goal in the first half ” delivered the scoring pass.
Eagle Valley kept the pressure on the Bulldogs.
Castillo mimicked David Beckham with a spinning, free-kick for his third goal of the goal of the game to make it 6-3. The shot upped Castillo’s goal total to 26 this season.
Moffat County coach Rusty Cox was unhappy with the officiating on Tuesday. Castillo also scored on a free-kick in the first half.
“My kids played hard,” Moffat County coach Rusty Cox said. “You could see it. But when the calls kept going one way, it’s like why play when every time you touch somebody, it’s a foul.
“I can take it if it’s even. It was one-sided. Anyway who watched the game could see it. That frustrates me. We were in it until the calls took us out.”
Shea continued to pad the Eagle Valley advantage with two more goals. First, he scored on another nice pass from Castillo. The senior notched his third goal on a header.
“I played with (Cesar) up top my whole life ” since we were little kids,” Shea said. “I’m finally able to play forward, because Coach finally agrees I should. I love it. Cesar’s a great player, he makes it easy for me.”
Don’t bother trying to tell Eagle Valley where it sits in the Slope standings. The Devils don’t care.
With Tuesday’s victory over Moffat County, Eagle Valley improved its record to 8-1 overall and 5-1 in the league. The 5-1 mark gives the Devils 15 points, three ahead of Glenwood Springs and Steamboat Springs (both 4-1), whith Battle Mountain sitting with nine points at 3-1.
“We’re here to play soccer,” Rittmiller said. “If we worry about that stuff, what’s the point? If you play enough good games of soccer, then we win. That’s what we are doing.”
Eagle Valley hosts Steamboat Saturday at 11 a.m. in the first of several Slope showdowns.
Sports Writer Ian Smith can be reached at 970-748-2935 or email@example.com.
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