Eagle Valley soccer rolls past Coal Ridge, 3-0
GYPSUM — Not to alarm anyone, but Eagle Valley soccer has won four games in a row.
The Devils jumped all over Coal Ridge, scoring three goals in the first 32 minutes to beat the Titans, 3-0, on Thursday night at John Ramunno Field in Gypsum.
“They knew we wanted to set the tone right away and they did that,” Eagle Valley coach Maggie Sherman said. “That was really, really good. We wanted to keep our momentum going.”
That momentum has translated into a four-game winning streak and has Eagle Valley at 5-2 heading into the meat of its league slate, starting on Saturday against Steamboat Springs.
Eagle Valley really wasted no time as Sofia Aguilar fed Zoe Booth in the fourth minute.
“Jessica (Adams) played a really nice ball to Sofia,” Booth said. “Sofia was in the box and just touched it over to me.”
A minute later, Aguilar was back and the Devils led, 2-0.
It turned out to be a mere footnote because the Devils took control of the game, but Eagle Valley keeper Brennecke Gale made a big save that stopped the visiting Titans from getting back into the game.
Coal Ridge’s Santana Martinez broke into to Eagle Valley’s end, but Gale’s had some experience with breakaways this year, and she smothered the chance.
“I really have to think I am going to get the ball,” Gale said. “I take a look at where they’re going to shoot and put my body in front of that, really just get any part of myself in front of them. Once I think I have to go, I go. If I hesitate, they’re going to score.”
Adams to Aguilar in the 32nd gave the Devils more than enough of cushion.
Knocking the ball around
While the Devils didn’t score in the second half, they had the majority of the possession. It’s not glamorous, but it’s a good sign. Eagle Valley was switching the field, had overlapping runs and was playing wide.
Moving sideways and diagonally to go forward is counterintuitive, but it is the goal.
“It’s definitely a process. It’s not going to come overnight,” Sherman said. “I think day to day we’re focusing on those things that can make a difference. I can see it in the girls. Instead of me telling them what to do, their teammates are telling them what to do.”
Thursday’s win may prove to be a big one. Coal Ridge won the 3A Slope last year, and the Titans will be in the hunt again. That should help the Devils with their ratings-percentage index as all three of their nonconference foes have a combined record of 13-3.
Opponents’ winning percentage makes up 50 percent of the RPI, and the first set of rankings come out on Wednesday.
In the meantime, Eagle Valley faces another test in how far it has come as a team when it hosts Steamboat Springs on Saturday at 11 a.m.
“Tomorrow (in practice), we come in with an attitude of improving our game,” Sherman said. “We’re not where we want to be yet. There’s still stuff to strive for. That’s still our goal, to get to a higher level each day.”
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934.
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Jeff Shiffrin, with his wife, Eileen, made the Vail area their home decades ago, and together raised Mikaela and Taylor Shiffrin, who was a member of the two-time NCAA Champion University of Denver Ski Team.