Eagle Valley runs record to 3-0
Vail, CO Colorado
GYPSUM, Colorado ” The games are easy. Practice is where the Eagle Valley soccer team sweats and labors.
At least so far this season it is.
After cruising to another victory, this time 4-0 over Coal Ridge, Devils coach Jason Rittmiller kept his players on the pitch. He wanted them to get in a few wind sprints. The conditioning wasn’t a punishment. It was to help get ready for the tougher tests that await later in the season.
“We’re working pretty hard,” Eagle Valley goalkeeper Trevor Grayson said. “We want the league this year. That’s our goal.”
Grayson probably needed to break a sweat. For the third consecutive game, Grayson and Eagle Valley pitched a shutout. In three games this season, the Devils have outscored their opponents 20-0.
On Thursday, the Eagle Valley defenders faced pressure on numerous occasions, only to turn Coal Ridge away. In the closing minutes of the first half, Grayson made two saves to keep Eagle Valley ahead 2-0.
“(The defense) works together well,” Rittmiller said. “Trevor communicates with the defense. The defense communicates with him.”
Even with a 4-0 lead at the end of the game, Eagle Valley wasn’t satisfied. The Devils wanted a shutout. Steve White kept the scoreless streak intact when he raced down the field and knocked the ball out of bounds to stop Darwin Cortez’ breakaway.
The play illustrated the all-out Eagle Valley attitude early in the season.
“We’re are seeing this team come together,” Rittmiller said. “The games help a lot. Coal Ridge gave us a good game. I’m glad they did because they showed us we won’t be able to walk away every time. We have to earn it.”
Castillo, Eagle Valley put away Titans
While the Devils’ defense acted like a brick wall, the offense relied on Cesar Castillo and his talented teammates. It didn’t take long for Castillo to announce his presence on Thursday. The senior needed only three minutes to score his first goal of the game and put the Devils ahead 1-0.
“He’s an excellent, excellent player,” Coal Ridge coach Brian Blair said. “He drives everything they do. They’re a real quality team. Everyone out there can touch the ball and make passes.”
Later in the first half, Castillo found Dominic Gora in front of the goal with a cross from the right side. Gora took care of the rest, beating Coal Ridge goalkeeper Arrick Peck to push the advantage to 2-0.
The goals kept coming in the second half for the Devils. Freshman Kevin Escobar rifled a ball to the back of the net in the opening minutes to make it 3-0. Escobar owes a thank you to his older brother, Marco, who beat multiple defenders before drilling the crossbar. The ball bounced right to Kevin for the goal.
“They’re good, so they put us on our defensive side a lot,” Blair said. “We had a couple of counter attacks that led to good shots, but they didn’t turn out.”
Castillo capped another solid performance with his second goal to stretch the lead to 4-0. In three games this season, Castillo has scored 11 goals.
Eagle Valley’s perfect record will be put the test on Saturday. The Devils host Golden in Gypsum at 11 a.m. Last season, Golden knocked Slope champion, Battle Mountain, out of the playoffs in the second round.
Sports Writer Ian Smith can be reached at 970-748-2935 or email@example.com.