It’s a "cakewalk’ for the Devils
EAST VAIL – Eagle Valley soccer Thursday against the Vail Mountain School proved that you can have your cake and eat it too..
As it turns out, during last week’s “Meet the Teams” section of the Vail Daily, VMS’ Sylvan Ellefson was quoted essentially saying that he liked to eat chocolate cake before playing Eagle Valley, implying that the Devils were, pardon the expression, a cakewalk.
The Devils took that to heart Thursday afternoon at The Bob, knocking off VMS, 2-0, and celebrating afterward with chocolate cupcakes.
“The chocolate cake’s good. It was all in good fun,” said Tommy Migchelbrink. For the record, Ellefson was a good sport, taking his medicine, by having a postgame cupcake.
The victory for Eagle Valley was sweet in many ways. The Devils have clinched one of the 3A Slope’s four playoff spots – more on that later, when it comes to VMS. And, if the Devils can win their last two conference games, combined with a Basalt win over Aspen, they have a chance of finishing second in the conference. That means a bye through the state-seeding games and a berth in the state playoffs with a home game in the first round.
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It was also Eagle Valley’s first win over VMS since Oct. 11, 2000.
“We’re thrilled to come to Vail and play on their surface and take it to them,” Devils coach Brian Large said. “I felt that we had our heads in the game, most of the game. I told my kids to play pressure soccer in the middle third and our third, and it’s been paying off the last couple games.”
It also pays off when you have a guy like Migchelbrink. He deserved extra cupcakes for the two goals he scored Thursday afternoon.
His first came in the 34th minute, when he called for a cross from Corey Gilmer. Gilmer delivered and Migchelbrink one-timed a rocket from the top of the box for a 1-0 lead.
“Oh, my god. The one-timer from the 18-yard line was beautiful,” Large said.
In the 70th minute, VMS goalie Michael Busenhart made one of the few mistakes he made all day. To this point, he had pretty much kept the Gore Rangers in it. But Busenhart accidentally picked up the ball outside the box, which led to an free kick. And, not surprisingly, Migchelbrink took it.
“The wall was set and two of our players were in the wall,” he said. “I told them to leave the wall, and VMS didn’t fill in the hole. I put it right in the outside corner.”
That play drew praise from VMS coach Bob Bandoni.
“He was opportunistic,” Bandoni said. “I thought both goals he scored, especially the one on the set play, he hit it well, hit it intelligently and, yeah, there it is in the back of the net. He’s a good player. Players like that always bring up the level and that’s something we always welcome.”
While Eagle Valley celebrates, it’s not all gloom and doom for Vail Mountain. The Gore Rangers have clinched at least the fourth spot and final postseason spot in the 3A Slope. So, they’ll be wearing orange for the fourth-straight year.
And, in a very interesting twist, VMS’ fortunes could change dramatically in its season finale at Basalt on Oct. 9. If the Gore Rangers (5-4 in league) would be able to topple the undefeated league champs – definitely a difficult task – that would likely put VMS in a three-way tie at 6-4 with Eagle Valley and Aspen. But, the Gore Rangers would have the tiebreaker by virtue of beating Basalt and finish second. That would vault VMS through state-seeding with a bye and into the state playoffs.
And that would definitely be cause for celebration, perhaps with some cake.
Just for Kicks: Eagle Valley (4-4 in the 3A Slope) wraps league play with road games at the Colorado Rocky Mountain School Tuesday and Roaring Fork next Saturday. … Ross Herr played a great game for the Devils in net. … Jordan Meikle picked up a yellow card in the second half. … Ellefson, Howdy Tuthill and Tyler Kjesbo all had scoring chances for VMS. “The game was decided in the first half,” Bandoni said. “We really created many opportunities and we had people where they belonged, and we couldn’t finish. We attacked as a group. We’re really leaving the field, feeling that we have a system and a style of play, and it brought us right into the box.”
Chris Freud is the sports editor for the Vail Daily. Contact him at (970) 949-0555, ext. 614 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.