Gallegos drops Vail Invitational opener to Fury
EDWARDS ” The Gallegos Vail women’s soccer club team knew just what to expect on the turf field in Edwards ” a fast-moving game.
Gallegos used some quick ball movement to get on the board early against the Colorado Sporting Fury, but the visitors settled and scored one goal in each half to beat Gallegos, 2-1, in the opening match of the Vail Invitational Soccer Tournament Friday.
“From practicing on the turf field, we had a pretty good idea what to expect,” said Kate O’Connor of Gallegos. “Even though this was our first time playing together on a full field as a team, I think we did pretty well. We just need to work on some transitions and putting the ball in the net.”
Vail’s first goal, which came on a transition, made it seem like the team had been playing together for a while. After Caitlin Williams intercepted a Colorado pass, she gave a quick dish to Callie Houk, who one-touched the ball back to Williams. With only the keeper to beat, Williams rolled the ball into the left corner of the net.
But Colorado was quick to answer with offensive pressure. From midfield, Amira Ebel played the ball down the left sideline to Jordan Beeber. After Beeber touched the ball ahead, she beat a Vail defender to it and slammed a shot off the left post.
A few minutes later, Colorado’s Kelsey Wray chipped a ball deep into the Vail end, and Kylee Hanavan redirected it into the top-right corner of the net.
At the end of the first half, Colorado held a slight edge in shots.
The Fury’s second goal came early in the second half and with a bit of controversy.
“There was a misdirection, and the ref pointed in our direction and we were set,” said Gallegos coach Dave Marjoram. “We pushed up in numbers and then (the ref) realized she made the mistake and pointed the other way, and our player backed off the ball. (Colorado) immediately kicked it, and got a 1-on-1.”
The Fury’s Shelley Radosevich took a pass and stormed in ahead of a Vail defender on the Vail net. Radosevich slammed a low shot that the Vail keeper saved, but Colorado’s Alison Skufca deflected the ball over the Vail keeper and into the net.
Gallegos wasn’t able to generate many offensive chances for the remainder of the game, as the Fury retained possession of the ball.
“It was frustrating in that respect, but that’s also part of our inexperience playing together and learning what each other’s capabilities are,” O’Connor said.
“That was really the key ” to keep them under pressure and created chances, (so) they don’t score,” said Fury coach Gerard Louison.
Colorado also got a boost for most of the game from several players coming off the bench.
“A lot of times, you get some coming off the bench that don’t have a lot of energy,” Louison said. “But today, our subs really had energy and came to play, and it definitely lifted the team when they came on the field.”
Both teams featured players who ranged in age from high school to former high school coaches.
“The girls that play on this team have such skill from youth leagues and high school programs,” Marjoram said. “Now we inherit girls into this program who are such great players. Such is the case with Front Range players (on the Fury).”
Gallegos, with one point in the standings due to its goal, continues pool play today with the Denver Kickers at noon, followed by the Colorado Sporting Fire at 3:45 p.m. Both games are at Miller Ranch in Edwards.
Sports Writer Ian Cropp can be reached at 748-2935 or firstname.lastname@example.org.