Gruber golden as Vail Mountain edges Delta
EAST VAIL — Gruber’s Goal in the Gloaming.
Who knows where this season will go, and there are a lot of expectations for Vail Mountain School soccer, but Friday will always be Gruber’s Goal in the Gloaming.
The senior defender Robby Gruber scored 13 minutes into overtime to lift VMS to a dramatic 2-1 victory over Delta on Friday afternoon/dusk at Bandoni Alumni Field.
This was shaping up as one of those games that VMS (11-2 overall and 6-1 in the 3A Slope) when the Gore Rangers would be playing well and infuriatingly not finish their opportunities, settling for a loss or a draw.
Instead, Gruber launched a 38-yard shot toward the Delta net. Peter Ferraro looked like he was trying to get his head on the ball, as if the shot were a pass. Ferraro missed and it was just fine.
Gruber’s shot went into the net and VMS was almost stunned, not certain if that was that.
The win leaves VMS, Delta and Coal Ridge all with one loss in the Slope. Since each team’s one loss was to someone else in the trio, the league-title tiebreaker will come down to goal-against in league play. Delta has three after Friday; Coal Ridge is at three and VMS four.
As strange as this sounds, the league title is rather irrelevant. For the top 16 of the 32-team playoff field, it’s all about the ratings-percentage index (RPI).
The Gore Rangers entered Friday’s game, holding down the No. 5 spot in those rankings. The computer should find VMS’s win over a 10-3 team in Delta quite appetizing. Opponents’ winning percentage makes up 50 percent of RPI.
Additionally, VMS’ upcoming schedule should please the RPI. The Gore Rangers host Jefferson Academy (12-1), ranked No. 4 in the RPI as of Friday afternoon, today at 1 p.m. Next week, VMS heads to Basalt, which is 8-4 and, more importantly No. 8 in the RPI, before the season finale at Grand Valley.
Delta’s Colton Goodwin scored in the 33rd minute to give the visitors a 1-0 lead. VMS finally broke through on a Ferraro run down the left side. His shot was blocked, but Bridger Gile was on the right side for the finish.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934, email@example.com and @cfreud.
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