Moore, VMS chill Aspen in OT
GYPSUM – The Vail Mountain School girls soccer team planned it out in advance.Tied 2-2 going into overtime against Aspen Tuesday, VMS coach Bob Bandoni noted that Skiers goalie Lindsey Anderson was coming up in her 18 and that his team should exploit that by playing the weak side aggressively. As the huddle was breaking, Bandoni turned to midfielder Karlie Moore and gave her the green light for a long-range shot with Anderson pushing outward.A minute into the second overtime, Moore did just that, ripping a shot from 30 yards out over Anderson, giving VMS a 3-2 win over Aspen.”I just thought that I needed to get up more because we’d been practicing that all season – 25-yard shots,” Moore said. “I just saw the goalie out and did everything I could. It was really cool. It’s my second time beating Aspen since my freshman year.””They worked on that for about 20 minutes (Monday in praactice), knocking the ball back to each other, trying one-touch and taking a look, seeing if we could get one coming out of the box,” VMS coach Bob Bandoni said. “We could see the vulnerability there in the first half.”With the win, VMS capped a frigid afternoon on a high, if not slightly warmer, note in Gypsum – the game was moved west from Bandoni Alumni Field because of the snow. The Gore Rangers avenged a 2-1 loss to the Skiers in Pitkin County in their season opener.
VMS moved to 3-4 (all 3A Slope games), while Aspen dropped to 4-3 overall and 2-2 in league.”The girls could have finished it,” Aspen coach John Gillies said. “They had chances to finish it. We didn’t show up until the second half. We passed the ball around in places. No, I’m not happy we got beat. I think we beat ourselves.”
VMS dominated the first 20 minutes of the opening half, and it was all Aspen in the second 20. The Gore Rangers, who’ve been plagued by an inability to finish all season, had no problem finding the back of the net to start the day.Moore threaded her way through Aspen’s back line and ripped the left side of the onion bag for a 1-0 lead in the seventh minute. “(Aspen) traditionally play(s) a high line in the back and they’re quite organized and really play well as one unit,” Bandoni said. “So to break that down takes a degree of craftiness. For her to dribble through with (our) players clearly offsides because they got pulled off, for Karlie to have the savvy to go to the goal demonstrates a lot of growth.”Harper Kaufman scored three minutes later, and VMS seemed to be on its way. But as always seems to be the case in this rivalry – the Gore Rangers’ boys also also took the Skiers, 3-2, in overtime in Eagle County last fall – Aspen rallied.As the snow started to fall – appropriate for a game between Skiers and Gore Rangers – Aspen’s Julia Hassall and Lizzy Eastley ripped the twine to even it at two. Gillies rued numerous squandered chances after the game, and likely one of those prime chances came in the 30th minute. VMS was whistled for a hand ball in the box setting up the Skiers’ Taylor Buzbee for penalty kick. Her shot flew over the bar, leaving the two teams tied at two, headed into the break.
Maybe, it was appropriate that Moore, who picked up two medals at the state skiing meet in Nordic at Vail in February, had the game-winner on this chilly day. The wind was howling from the west all during the game and the snow increased as the match went into overtime. “I was warmer because in the Nordic races you’re working so much harder. You’re just moving the whole time,” Moore said. “This was hard because someone would kick the ball and your hair was totally sideways and you couldn’t see anything.””Elements shouldn’t be a problem,” Gillies said. “We live in mountain towns. They should be used to it. The field’s good. We’ve got no excuse for our performance today. It should never have gotten to overtime. Vail wanted to win more than we did.”Bandoni was pleased with his team’s persistence after squandering a 2-0 lead. Also of note was the way the Gore Rangers have rebounded from four one-goal losses this season with wins against Roaring Fork and Aspen in the last week. “We have set goals in our program for fitness and mental toughness,” Bandoni said. “I believe that we were called upon today to rise to standards we have set. Players did that, winning 50-50 balls. There were a number of key opportunities that we missed. Instead of players having their heads down, they were communicating with each other and immediately getting back and playing a game.”
VMS’ Kris Caples left the game in the second half after reinjuring her right shoulder. … VMS is scheduled to play Coal Ridge Thursday at Bandoni Alumni Field at 4 p.m. Aspen heads to Rangely. … Heartened by Boston’s 14-3 win Tuesday at Fenway against the Mariners Tuesday, the Bandon is ready for today’s New England debut of Daisuke Matsuzaka. “Now the homecoming,” Bandoni said. “It’s time for Daisuke to go 2-0 and the Fenway fans to welcome him with all the zeal we can muster.”Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 748-2934 or firstname.lastname@example.org.