Go Rocks: Pepi’s still alive in Vail Invite
Lots of questions were in the air in the waning seconds of the Pepi’s-Littleton Pool B match at the 2002 Vail Invitational Soccer Tournament Saturday afternoon.
The game tied at one, Pepi’s’ Nacen Gray and Miller Lewis were on the deck within the Littleton box. Depending on one’s allegiance, it was either a penalty kick or a good defensive play.
The referee initially signaled a corner kick, but then blew his whistle ending the game with a 1-1 tie.
“That was a corner kick or a foul,” Pepi’s coach Ante Peros said. “He should have called one or the other. We think it was a foul because two guys went down. But he called the game. You don’t do that. You give a chance to take the foul. I don’t care if you’re exactly on the time.”
Not surprisingly, Littleton coach Gerard Louison wasn’t upset.
“Basically, he said, “No call. I’m not making a call on the foul. I’m going to give you a corner kick. I’m not going to decide the game on a penalty. It might of been a penalty, but I’ve also let other things go in this game. I’m not going to make a decision there. You guys settle it on the field.'”
Things are anything but settled in Pool B going into the final game of pool play. The Denver Rocks, who beat Pepi’s earlier in the day 2-0, are through to the knockout round with a 2-0 mark and 19 points. Littleton, with a 1-0-1 record and 12 points, has the inside track on the pool’s second and final playoff berth.
The Rocks and Littleton face off this morning at 9:15 at Ford Park. A Littleton win or tie puts the Front Rangers through. A Littleton loss opens the door for Pepi’s in its game at the Vail Athletic Field at 10:30 a.m., against Atomic, which is 0-2. So expect the local booters to be in good voice cheering for the Rocks.
“I hope they continue to play as strong has they have been and don’t let up,” said Pepi’s midfielder Daryl Goehring, referring to the Rocks’ 2-0 win over Littleton and a 7-0 rout of Atomic. “We’ll definitely have some beers on us if they can shut them out.”
“We gave you a game this morning. So why don’t you give us a game back, will you,” Peros joked.
Early on against Littleton Saturday, Pepi’s looked like it was going to control its destiny. The locals had their way for the most part in the first 30 minutes with a bunch of quality chances. Pepi’s finally scored 12 minutes in when Jeff Hayslip offered a perfect serve into the box off a corner kick. Goehring was there for the header into the top of the Littleton net for a 1-0 lead.
“There was a small space over in the corner,” Goehring said, “He finally got it worked out and just served up a perfect ball. I just tried to get it straight on the ball.”
The chances evened out in the second half as Littleton stepped up its attack.
“First half, I thought they took it to us a lot,” Louison said. “Second half, I thought we had the better run of play. We had the chances. They were sitting back a little bit more, trying to contain. We had the better run of the play and we took advantage of that.”
It was Littleton’s Juan Ramos in the 20th minute with a long bomb that served as the equalizer.
“He’s an ubelievably creative player,” Louison said. “I’m not surprised he scored a goal like that. He absolutely has the ability. He’s one of those people like Michael Jordan. You never know what he’s going to do when he gets on the field.”
More missed chances and the controversial ending left a bitter taste in the mouths of some of the Pepi’s players.
“It’s a very frustrating loss (sic) with all the chances we missed,” Goehring said with a revealing slip of the tongue. “We definitely have something to play for in the morning. It’s going to be a good game. We’re going to be attacking a lot. We need goals and offense and we’re going to come out fast.”
Just for kicks: Pepi’s dropped a 2-0 decision to the Rocks Saturday morning.
“The field was really wet and a couple of our touches were off,” Peros said. “It was 0-0 after the first half and then we had a couple of mistakes. We also had a chance to score a couple of goals. Again, that’s the way it goes. They won 2-0. It was a good game and they deserved it and we’re looking forward to seeing them again.” … The Rocks sit atop Pool B. In Pool A, Cazadores has wrapped up the top spot while defending invite champ Arsenal has eight points and can clinch the wildcard with a win vs. El Muneco. In Pool C, Aguilas Del America has all but wrapped the Group of Death. Aguilas needs a tie or better against the winless Kickers or even a few goals in a loss to Denver. America (10 points) and Wadadli (nine points) meet today at 10:30 a.m. at Ford Park for the wildcard. … In the playoffs, the pool winners will be seeded one through three, based on point totals, followed by the wildcards in like manner for spots four through six. The top six teams will play down this afternoon, with the championship at the Vail Athletic Field at 5 p.m.
W L T GF GA Pts
Cazadores 2 0 0 5 1 18
El Muneco 1 1 0 3 3 10
Arsenal 1 1 0 2 3 8
Boulder 0 2 0 1 4 1
Cazadores 2, Arsenal 0
El Muneco 2, Boulder 0
Arsenal 2, Boulder 1
Cazadores 3, El Muneco 1
El Muneco vs. Arsenal, 9:15 a.m., Vail Athletic Field
Cazadores vs. Boulder, 9:15 a.m., Vail Mountain School
W L T GF GA Pts
Rocks 2 00 9 0 19
Littleton 1 0 1 2 1 12
Pepi’s 0 1 1 1 2 4
Atomic 0 2 0 0 8 0
Rocks 2, Pepi’s 0
Littleton 1, Atomic 0
Rocks 7, Atomic 0
Pepi’s 1, Littleton 1, tie
Rocks vs. Littleton, 9:15 a.m., Ford Park
Pepi’s vs. Atomic, 10:30, Vail Athletic Field
W L T GF GA Pts
Aguilas 2 0 0 6 3 18
America 1 1 0 3 3 10
Wadadli 1 1 0 2 3 9
Kickers 0 2 0 0 2 0
Aguilas 3, America 2
Wadadli 1, Kickers 0
Aguilas 3, Wadadli 1
America 1, Kickers 0
Kickers vs. Aguilas, 8 a.m., Vail Mountain School
America vs. Wadadli, 10:30 a.m., Ford Park
(Note – Teams should check with tournament organizers at Ford Park after group play ends Sunday morning to confirm these locations.)
No. 3 vs. No. 6, 1 p.m., Vail Athletic Field
No. 4 vs. No. 5, 1 p.m., Ford Park
No. 3-No. 6 winner vs. No. 2, 3 p.m., Ford Park
No. 4-No. 5 winner vs. No. 1, 3 p.m., Vail Mountain School
Semifinal winners, 5 p.m., Vail Athletic Field
W L T GF GA Pts
I’nationals 2 0 0 3 0 17
F.C. Army 1 0 1 3 1 13
Rovers 0 1 1 1 3 4
Glory Days 0 2 0 0 3 0
F.C. Army 2, Glory Days 0
Internationals 2, Rovers 0
Internationals 1, Glory Days 0
F.C. Army 1, Rovers 1, tie
Glory Days vs. Rovers, 8 a.m., Vail Athletic Field
Internationals vs. F.C. Army, 9:15 a.m., Eagle-Vail
W L T GF GA Pts
Brighton 2 0 0 80 20
Colima 1 1 0 5 5 10
Littleton 1 1 0 2 6 8
Arsenal 0 2 0 3 7 3
Brighton 5, Littleton 0
Real Colima 4, Arsenal 3
Brighton 3, Arsenal 0
Littleton 2, Real Colima 1
Brighton vs. Real Colima, 8 a.m., Ford Park
Littleton vs. Arsenal, 8 a.m., Eagle-Vail
First place, Group E vs. Second place, Group F, 11:45 a.m., Vail Athletic Field
First place, Group F vs. Second place, Group E, 11:45 a.m., Ford Park
Semifinal winners, Vail Athletic Field, 2:15 p.m.