On a windy pitch, Demons top Devils in Gypsum
Vail, CO Colorado
GYPSUM, Colorado ” Behind a pair of goals from senior captain Chelsea Vallario, and a formidable wind, the Glenwood Springs girls soccer team downed Eagle Valley Tuesday in Gypsum, 5-1.
The Demons, taking advantage of a slow start by the Devils, built a 2-0 lead 10 minutes into the contest, and then added another tally before the half. All three goals came from good ball movement through the middle and final third of the field, and got a little help from a wind that gusted at more than 35 mph.
“I told the girls, we needed to work on our passing, and we did for the most part,” said Glenwood coach Bryan Stoltzfus. “There was a good 10 to 15 minutes, like every game, where we forgot what we were doing, and then we remembered again.”
After Eagle Valley got on the board early in the second half on a Nicole Luczkow goal, Glenwood responded with a pair of quick strikes.
“It was hard to play with the wind,” Vallario said, “but it was such a pleasant game. Eagle (Valley) girls are fun to play with. It was a good soccer game.”
The Devils, coming off a 6-0 loss to Rifle Saturday, started a bit sluggish, but found some spark in the second half.
“We know Glenwood is a playoff team,” said Eagle Valley coach Francois Nanin. “We knew they were better on paper, but our girls were shocked we could play with them. I don’t know why, but it took us some time to get into the game.”
Vallario, on the other hand, didn’t need much time to get her team rolling. In the seventh minute, after a few Glenwood touches, Vallario received a pass in open space at the top right of the Eagle Valley box. With only Eagle Valley keeper Sydni Schlegel left to beat, Vallario blasted a shot into the right corner.
“It was kind of one-on-one with the keeper … and you’ve just got to make sure those go in,” Vallario said.
Three minutes later, Vallario launched a hard shot from outside the Devils’ box that Schlegel got a piece of, but was unable to stop from winding its way into the net.
“With the wind, I just tried to keep it low and push for the goal,” Vallario said.
On the third Glenwood goal, freshman Hope Whitman picked up a ball close to the goal line and sent a left-footed pass to teammate Carly Stillman, who was alone at the top of the Eagle Valley box. Stillman launched a ball into the wind and it made its way over Schlegel.
Luczkow’s goal, her fifth of the year, came thanks to a long pass by forward Pearl Nanin. With two defenders in tow, and the Glenwood keeper quickly approaching, Luczkow slipped the ball to the right corner, past the diving keeper.
“I told my girls before the game, last year she scored two on us and we almost lost,” Stoltzfus said. “I told them to mark her, but they didn’t listen. We will run for that tomorrow.”
Francois Nanin has been impressed with Luczkow’s undying hustle.
“She has been the MVP of our season,” he said. “The drive she has ” she’s the first on the ball. She’s a great role model for our younger players.”
Eagle Valley defender Tania Silvia had a great game, breaking up a handful of quality Glenwood opportunities deep in the Devils’ end.
“Every game she saves so many goals,” Nanin said. “And today, Megan (Cochrane) at center mid, was unbelievable. That’s a position that has so much traffic and she was all over the field, on the ball, driving it left and right for our forwards.”
Glenwood mixed up its lineup, substituting in some younger players and moving starting goalie Kelsie Hert up to play forward.
“Kelsey got to play up with us and, in our last game against Moffat (County), she scored her first goal,” Vallario said. “Today her and Brooke (Lockard) were up there ” two seniors who don’t get to play up there that much. It was good to see that and other people moving around in the field who are all-around players.”
The Demons’ Bryttnie Evans had her team’s fourth goal, which came when she intercepted an Eagle Valley clearing attempt and sent the ball into an empty net. On the final tally, Glenwood’s Kendall Strautman took a pass from Vallario, wove through the Eagle Valley defense and buried the ball into the right corner.
With the win, Glenwood improves to 5-2 in the 4A Western Slope, while Eagle Valley moved to 0-9. The Demons host Delta next Tuesday, while the Devils host Moffat County Thursday.
Sports writer Ian Cropp can be reached at email@example.com or 970-748-2935
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