Head: Eagle Valley’s soccer fate still up in the air
Eagle Valley’s and Roaring Fork’s boys soccer teams swapped licks for 90 minutes and two overtime periods, and came away with a 2-2 tie. Still, while Devils coach Brian Large and his charges’ collective future would have been more clear with an outright win, the tie will probably be enough to get them into the first round of this week’s state playoffs.
Large said at least some of the Devils’ playoff possibilities rest on the outcome of Saturday’s Basalt/Aspen soccer match. The rest will be determined by a tiebreaker formula more convoluted than about anything this side of a quantum mechanics equation.
“We should know everything by Monday,” Large said.
Large had nothing but praise for his Devils.
“They played well and they more than lived up to their coaches’ expectations,” Large said. “You couldn’t ask anything more from them.”
The two teams have cracked heads once before this season, with Eagle Valley winning 5-4 at Roaring Fork. This one was different for both sides.
“That was a rough game,” said Large. “Saturday’s was much higher quality soccer. Both teams played very well.”
Roaring Fork broke out first with a goal in the game’s first three minutes. It stayed 1-0 through the first half.
Eagle Valley countered three minutes into the second half when Tyler Berglund launched a massive throw-in to Matt Hogoboom, who headed it to Derek Fawcett, who was waiting like a predator at the top of the penalty box. Fawcett slipped a seeing-eye shot just inside the right post to tie it at 1-1.
Roaring Fork scored with 25 minutes gone in the second half to take a 2-1 lead.
With five minutes left in the game, Cory Gilmer punched it home on an assist from Hogoboom. Hogoboom’s pass feathered past a Roaring Fork defender, leaving him spinning like one of the Temptations. Gilmer was patiently waiting, and cranked the ball into its natural habitat – the back of the net.
That tied it 2-2, and that’s where it stayed.
For the two five-minute overtime periods, Large pushed sweeper Tommy Michelibrink into the offensive zone, hoping the extra attacker would mean a goal in the overtime periods. In high school soccer, the first overtime goal wins.
Running 80 minutes can be hard on the players. Running 80 minutes can be hard on anything that’s not a grandfather clock. Eagle Valley pretty much dominated the overtime periods, but had less luck finding home than Bill Clinton after a night in a sorority house.
“Roaring Fork played us tough,” said Large. “They have decent players who can bring the ball forward and play it to a strong, fast forward. But our defense shut them down.”
Large had high praise for goalkeeper Ross Herr, who made all the normal saves your goalkeeper is supposed to make, and three spectacular saves that kept his team in the game and gave the Devils a chance to win. Large said Fawcett played great on both the offensive and defensive ends the entire game.
Eagle Valley ends its regular season with a 4-5-1 mark in league play.