Eagle Valley ties Moffat County, 2-2, in Gypsum
Vail, CO Colorado
GYPSUM ” Moffat County coach Dave Rodriguez summed it up best. Saturday’s matchup with Eagle Valley was a “nailbiter.”
The back-and-forth soccer game ended in a 2-2 tie in Gypsum, but not before some late-minute drama. Both teams nearly netted a game-winner in overtime before settling for the tie.
“Both teams worked extremely hard,” Eagle Valley coach Francois Nanin said.
The Devils (0-2-1) took control in the opening minutes behind an aggressive offense, but unfortunately for Eagle Valley it didn’t translate into goals. An early shot attempt by Amanda Reale was knocked away. In the 18th minute, another Reale attempt missed just left.
With Eagle Valley misfiring, Moffat County started to find its rhythm. In the 35th minute, a handball in the box gave the Bulldogs a penalty kick. Amanda Brewer found the back of the net on the try for a 1-0 lead.
The deficit didn’t last long for Eagle Valley. A left-footed boot by the Devils’ Megan Cochrane in the 40th minute knotted the score.
The effort by Cochrane capped the Devils’ best half of the young season. In its first two games, Eagle Valley lost to Battle Mountain and Montrose by a combined score of 15-0.
“The first two games, we didn’t have any corner kicks,” Nanin said. “It’s the first game for us to control the ball at midfield. We finally attacked and pressured. We never did that before. We’re used to being on our end the whole time. We realized we can do it and now we want more.”
The score stayed tied into the second half before Cochrane connected again. This time, the junior slipped the ball past goalie Brittany Rodriguez and into the left corner of the goal for a 2-1 advantage in the 54th minute.
Moffat County answered in the 69th minute. The Bulldogs’ Leslie Martinez corralled a rebound in front of the net and pounded into the goal to make it 2-2.
“That was crazy,” Dave Rodriguez said. “That was so crazy. Today, we came back (after losing to Glenwood Springs, 5-0) and we wanted to win. It was a lot of fun. We had a blast.”
The Bulldogs nearly got the win in overtime. Imelda Hernandez sent a shot just over the crossbar. Later, Brewer almost booted in a free kick but it was knocked away by Eagle Valley goaltender Sydni Schlegel.
Both Schlegel and Brittany Rodriguez played well in net to keep their teams in the game. Schlegel recorded big saves in the overtime, while Rodriguez made 22 saves after being under pressure for much of the game.
“Brittany came in and there were a ton of shots on goal,” Dave Rodriguez said.
Despite being in position for their first win, the Devils will take the tie. Nanin saw a number of positives including the defensive effort by Jaclyn Taylor, Nicole Eisenmann and Casey Medsker. Pearl Nanin, Cochrane and Dashia Jones gave the Eagle Valley offense a lift.
“It was a team effort controlling the ball,” Francois Nanin said. “We’ve been beat up so much, it was tough trying to practice and make them believe it. They have an excitement to play together.”
Eagle Valley hosts Glenwood on Tuesday at 4 p.m.
Sports Writer Ian Smith can be reached at 970-748-2935 or email@example.com.