Late goals propel Bulldogs over Devils
GYPSUM – School may not have been in session, but Saturday’s soccer game between Eagle Valley and Moffat County was a lesson in mathematics.The Devils started the game with 10 players, which included three No. 19s and three Sara(h)s.The Bulldogs had more players on their bench than the Devils had on the field, until the second half, when two Eagle Valley players arrived late, to bring the Devils’ squad to 12. When the 12th Eagle Valley player arrived, Moffat County accidentally had 12 players on the field, two of whom were goalkeepers, while Eagle Valley had three Sara(h)s, two Sams, three No. 19s, two No. 9s and two No. 3s.And the Bulldogs won, 2-0.Spring break left the Devils with a short squad, but coach T.J. Hay made adjustments that kept his squad in the game.”We had six of our varsity girls and four JV players, a bunch of whom are freshman,” Hay said. “We ended up trying to take a more defensive stance. We moved our center midfielder back and tried to strengthen our defense. We moved our forwards into the midfield, to try to defend and get some kind of counterattack.”Moffat County agreed to play with 10 players as long as Eagle Valley had 10 on the field.
Although most of the game was played in the Eagle Valley end, Moffat County had trouble getting the ball past the Devils’ Mary Cochrane.”She was excellent,” said Moffat County coach Jim Loughran. “She really kept them in the game. A couple of those saves she really pulled out well.” A lot of potential scoring chances never came to fruition for Moffat County, thanks to Eagle Valley’s Sarah Hoza.”Sarah did an amazing job back there,” Cochrane said. “It helps because we play together all the time and know each other’s playing style.”PersistenceThe Bulldogs’ Ashleigh Mann and Shaylyn Kawcak each had several scoring chances in the first half, but couldn’t find the back of the net. On one occasion, Kawcak dribbled through the Eagle Valley box and broke free, only to find a leaping Cochrane deflecting what looked to be a sure goal.
But late in the second half, Mann broke the scoreless tie on her first of two goals.Moffat County’s Jenna Cook threaded a pass through two Eagle Valley defenders that put Mann streaking to the goal alone. Mann then launched a shot over Cochrane, who had come out to challenge.”It was kind of frustrating,” Loughran said. “We just kept waiting and waiting and waiting. We made some adjustments. We took our goalie (Heather Brown) and put her up as a forward, which helped us out a lot. Then, we went to a 3-4-3 to try and crate something a little more. We didn’t need to worry about defense.”After the Bulldogs’ goal, Hay moved Hoza up in the midfield to generate more offense. The Devils best chance came on a free kick 10 yards outside the Bulldogs’ box. Hoza sent a bending ball to the right of the net, but the Devils were unable to deflect the ball towards the goal.Mann would add another goal in the final minutes to seal the victory.Midfield control
Sara Reed and Nicole Luczkow did a good job of moving the ball through the midfield and creating the few chances the Devils had on the game.Hay was pleased with the way his entire squad performed.”I’m really proud of them. To stay in there and hold them to the last minutes of the game, you couldn’t ask for anything more out of them,” Hay said.Eagle Valley will play at Palisade Tuesday at 4 p.m.Sports Writer Ian Cropp can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 14631, or email@example.com. Vail, Colorado