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Pair of Devils get postseason honors

Ian Cropp
Vail CO, Colorado
Published: Daily file photo
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GYPSUM ” Opposing teams only got to see Mary Cochrane and Sarah Hoza in games.

Eagle Valley soccer coach Jenn Marut got to see Cochrane and Hoza at every practice this season.

“I knew I could look to those two girls every time to be leaders for the rest of the team,” Marut said. “They were huge helpers.”

Cochrane and Hoza impressed the rest of the coaches in the league, earning nominations to the 4A Western Slope All-league squad. Cochrane was first team, while Hoza was honorable mention.

“I think Sarah should be on the first team, too, but I’m happy we got two instead of one,” Marut said. “These two seniors stick out … and have great attitudes. They are the best girls you could coach.”

Cochrane, who was honorable mention last year, has started in net for the Devils since her freshman year. This year, with Marut as a first-year coach, co-captains Cochrane and Hoza stepped up with full-time leadership.

“(Jenn) looked to us and wanted to know if we had imput at halftime or at practice,” Cochrane said.

“We helped out a lot with different drills,” said Hoza, who was All-league honorable mention her sophomore year.

In games, Cochrane and Hoza combined for a stifling defense. Most of the year Hoza prowled her teams’ defensive side of the field and prevented opponents from getting to the Eagle Valley net. Later in the year, however, Hoza moved to midfield where she was able to use her dribbling and passing skills to set up goals, and score a few, too.

“This year I really wanted to make things happen,” the four-year starter Hoza said. “I allowed things not to happen when I played defense. Then, the last few games, when I played midfield, I reached that goal of making things happen.”

Hoza also wanted to score more goals than she did in her junior campaign (6), which she also accomplished by netting seven.

Cochrane, who started playing goalie in fifth grade, used her aggressive style to cut off opposing forwards before they could get a good look on net.

“That’s something I grew into and developed either my freshman or sophomore year because you have to,” Cochrane said. “It’s a different playing sports at a high school level. It’s a another whole level of competitiveness. And you don’t want to lose. That’s one thing I can attest to ” I’m a very sore loser. I hate losing more than anything.”

Like any goalie, Cochrane loves making a save more than anything, although another aspect she enjoys isn’t so typical.

“My team may not like it, but I like yelling,” Cochrane said. “It’s taken my team a long time to realize it’s not yelling at them, it’s yelling so they can hear. I see the whole field and where everybody is. Not everybody does.”

When the Eagle Valley co-captains were freshman, the Devils were a 3A team. The following year, Eagle Valley moved up to 4A.

“We went from going to state (in 3A), then we went to 4A and got totally killed,” Hoza said. “That jump is hard for any team to make.”

The Devils improved this year, collecting three wins. Hoza thought Marut did a good job setting a foundation for the younger players for years to come.

“She helped us build from basics and made sure everyone was understanding the game of soccer and can play at different level next year and get competitive,” Hoza said.

In addition to the victories, the Devils accomplished some other goals they’d set.

“Our overall attitude was much better and we always kept out heads up,” Hoza said. “We scored on Battle Mountain. That was awesome. We wanted to score headers and we scored two in one game.”

Sports Writer Ian Cropp can be reached at 748-2935 or icropp@vaildaily.com.


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