Eagle Valley soccer exacts revenge on VMS with 6-0 win
The best thing about hitting rock bottom is that there’s only one way to go from there: Up.
Such was the case for the Eagle Valley girls soccer team Thursday in a 6-0 win over the Vail Mountain School at The Bob.
Two days after a tough, 9-0 loss to Basalt, the Devils were a new team with a new energy out to make the Gore Rangers pay for an earlier 2-0 win on April 6.
“They were on a roll,” Devils coach Daiva Katieb said about her team. “For one, they had a score to even. They came out here wanting to win and secure their playoff spot, and they’ve done that. They played as a team. Just a beautiful possession game and really nice passing game all around.”
The biggest advantage for the Devils was the star presence of senior striker Sam Phillips, who was injured the last time the two teams played and was forced to watch from the sideline.
Phillips scored three of Eagle Valley’s goals and caused problems for the VMS defense all afternoon as she repeatedly weaved into the box to take shots or set up teammates.
“Sam’s a pleasure to have on your team,” Katieb said. “I still maintain that she wasn’t the cause of our loss last time. Again, with a young team you have lapses, and I think it was more of a mindset thing.”
Phillips’ first goal came in the fourth minute of the first half, after she ran circles around two VMS defenders and rocketed a shot into the right side of the net.
Then, on another rush on goal, Phillips switched the ball from her right to left foot and unloaded a shot that caromed off VMS goalie Kristen Caples. With the ball loose in the box, Eagle Valley’s Michelle Paramenter quickly flicked it into the back of the VMS net.
After the break, the Devils continued to apply the pressure to VMS, but didn’t score again until the 65th minute. Sarah Hoza took a lofting pass from Tanaee Mickley in the box and fired it home, giving herself her own present on her 15th birthday.
“It was awesome,” said Hoza. “Definitely felt a lot better to win. We got a lot more control on the ball on this (turf) than we would on a normal field. The key was just keeping it with our team and keeping possession.”
Phillips then scored again two minutes later, in what was the most impressive play of the afternoon. After Caples had assumed control of the ball in the box she attempted to clear it, but Phillips snatched the ball from midair with a high kick.
Caples then tried to take away Phillips’ angle by charging from the right post, but Phillips managed to fire off a crossing shot in time that found its way into the back of the net.
“I love this turf here,” said a smiling Phillips after the game. “You can control the ball whenever you want and do what you want. Last game (against VMS) I was just watching, hoping and waiting that I could get in there. I was very excited for this game. All day I was waiting for it.”
VMS was not without its chances in the second half, but it just didn’t seem to be the Gore Rangers’ day.
Z Warren had a clean run on net after the third Eagle Valley goal, but lined a shot right into the arms of freshman goalie Mary Cochrane. Lauren Mutter also looked to have an uncontested shot on goal in the second half as well, but she was called offsides.
“We had opportunities. We didn’t have as many opportunities, but we had some, and in a game like this, you’ve got to be able to capitalize,” VMS coach Bob Bandoni said.
When asked if he knew the Devils would be a fired-up bunch coming into The Bob fresh off a 9-0 loss, Bandoni said that he was just trying to focus on his team before the game.”
“We always are concerned with ourselves, no matter what situation our opponent is in. We don’t really play with that psychology. Our psychology is that we play unified and we play hard the whole game.
The final two Eagle Valley goals came from Paramenter in the 72nd minute, and then Phillips for the third time in the 77th minute.
With the win, Eagle Valley improved to 6-3 in the 3A Slope and secured a playoff berth, while VMS fell to 2-7 in Slope play.
Contact Nate Peterson at 949-0555, ext. 608 or via e-mail at email@example.com