Pepi’s falls in quarterfinals’ shootout |

Pepi’s falls in quarterfinals’ shootout

Chris Freud

Be sure to include on that list Doug Schwartz, or Dougie-Fresh, as he was referred to on occasion during Pepi’s’ quarterfinal game Sunday against F.C. Arsenal.

In addition to strong play in the field, after Pepi’s was eliminated during a shootout, Schwartz stepped up with his cooler full of beer – thus easing the pain of defeat.

All in all, despite the a finish, it was a good weekend for the local 11. After a slow start Saturday, Pepi’s made sure it would go to the knockout round by virtue of a 4-0 win over Atomic. And in the quarterfinal, Pepi’s staged a furious comeback, after falling down 1-0 early to Arsenal, to force overtime and a shootout.

“It was wonderful. We enjoyed every minute of it,” Pepi’s coach Ante Peros said. “We had so many chances. The guys were really doing a good job of making opportunities. It’s hard. You’d think that we’d come out on the better end of the score. Instead, it goes to kicks. But that’s soccer. We played a lot of games and had a lot of fun. It’s just the way the ball rolls, I guess.”

The ball wasn’t rolling Pepi’s way early against Arsenal. Nate Allen got called for pulling down an Arsenal attacker in the box. Arsenal’s Shawn Conegys took the kick. Pepi’s goalie Jesse Peros guessed right and got a piece of the shot but it found the back of the net for a 1-0 Arsenal lead.

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Understandably sluggish after having played just an hour before, Pepi’s began to pick it up. Schwartz nearly found the net on a nifty feed from Jeff Hayslip, followed by a good opportunity from Daryl Goehring.

In the second half, Pepi’s turned up the heat. After Miguel Ruiz, Hayslip and Nacen Gray nearly scored, it was El Professor, Mike Morris, who helped Pepi’s get the equalizer. Morris served the ball beautifully into the box from the right flank to Goehring. Though Heineken was served on the sideline, it soon became Miller Time. Miller Lewis got a piece of Goehring’s rebound and slammed it home.

“We made a big mistake in the first few minutes and get a penalty. That’s a tough way for things to happen,” Peros said. “But we came back real strong. We did a really good job in the second half.”

And that continued in the two five-minute overtimes, where Pepi’s had four more quality chances.

In the shootout, Arsenal converted its first four shots, while Pepi’s got markers from Gray, Allan and Mark Perna. But Arsenal clinched the shootout 5-3 When David Thomas found the back of the net.

Pepi’s didn’t come within sniffing distance of a shootout on Sunday morning, breezing past Atomic 4-0 to clinch a place in the playoffs. Before Pepi’s reached the Vail Athletic Field Sunday, things had fallen nicely into place for the home team thanks to the Denver Rocks’ 1-0 win over Boulder. Pepi’s needed to get nine points to pass Boulder in Pool B with a win and three goals scored.

No problem on that count, beginning just a minute in with a Goehring goal from Edgar Morales, who was sensational on Sunday before being injured on the final play of the Atomic game.

Goehring was in on Pepi’s second goal. His shot was blocked, but Hayslip was there for the rebound and a 2-0 lead.

It got a little scary when Atomic got a penalty kick minutes later. It was wide left, prompting Peros to yell, “Thank you, God,” while extending his arms skyward.

No divine intervention was needed when Scott Ligouri was pulled down in the box at the end of the first half. Gray had no problem converting and Pepi’s was on its way to the quarters.

Before that, though, Morales performed some of his patented wizardry. Off a Perna throw-in, Morales worked his way down the right flanks, deking two defenders before going near side for Pepi’s fourth goal.

Just for Kicks: Aguilas Del America won the Gold Division championship with a 1-0 win over the Rocks. … Props from Peros: “I’m really happy with the young guys,” he said, referring to the likes of Wade Cheatham, Ligouri, Jose Lozano and Perna. “They came in when they needed to come in. They gave a great effort and a great fight to support the team quite well. Leo (Jeff Leonardo), for being an old man, working that hard up front. I give him a lot of credit. I give the whole team a lot of credit.” … Pepi’s next confirmed game is Aug. 4 against Liga de Carbondale. The team is trying to schedule a friendly for Sunday. … Meanwhile, the Gallegos women’s team took out Steamboat Springs 6-2 on Saturday. Gallegos is at Aspen for a tournament next weekend. For more on Gallegos, check out Friday’s Vail Daily.

Gold Division

Group A


y-Cazadores3 0 0 7 1 27

x-El Muneco 1 2 0 5 8 12

Arsenal 2 1 0 7 5 17

Boulder 0 3 0 1 6 1

Sunday’s Games

Arsenal 5, El Muneco 2

Cazadores 2, Boulder 0

Group B


y-Rocks 3 00 10 0 27

x-Pepi’s 1 1 1 5 2 14

Littleton 1 1 1 2 2 12

Atomic 0 3 0 0 12 0

Sunday’s Games

Rocks 1, Littleton 0

Pepi’s 4, Atomic 0

Group C


y-Aguilas 3 0 0 7 3 26

x-America 1 1 1 3 3 13

Wadadli 1 1 1 2 3 9

Kickers 0 3 0 0 3 0

Sunday’s Games

Aguilas 1, Kickers 0

America 0, Wadadli 0, ties



Aguilas 1, America 0

Arsenal 1, Pepi’s 1, Arsenal wins on kicks


Aguilas 1, Cazadores 0

Rocks 4, Arsenal 0


Aguilas 1, Rocks 0

Silver Division

Group E


y-I’nationals 3 0 0 6 1 26

x-F.C. Army 1 1 1 4 4 14

Glory Days 1 2 0 3 4 9

Rovers 0 2 1 2 6 5

Sunday’s Games

Glory Days 3, Rovers 1

Internationals 3, F.C. Army 1

Group F


y-Brighton 3 0 0 90 28

x-Littleton 2 1 0 5 8 17

Colima 1 2 0 5 6 10

Arsenal 0 3 0 5 10 5

Sunday’s Games

Brighton 1, Real Colima 0

Littleton 3, Arsenal 2



F.C. Army 1, Brighton 1, Army wins on kicks

Littleton 0, Internationals 0, Littleton wins on kicks


Littleton 2, F.C. Army 0

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