Pepi’s strong at Colorado Mountain Cup |

Pepi’s strong at Colorado Mountain Cup

The Pepi’s men’s soccer team is ready for the Vail Invitational this weekend after a 3-1 performance at last weekend’s Colorado Mountain Cup in Glenwood Springs.Pepi’s won its pool with a perfect 3-0 mark before falling to Pumas in the second overtime with two minutes to go on a golden goal.”It sets us up pretty well,” Pepi’s veteran Daryl Goehring said. “We’ve got to heal. We’ve got some injuries, some achy bones and muscles. But, we’ve got a good squad with good numbers. I think everyone was pleased with how we played. People were definitely a little bummed that we didn’t get to the final, though.”

Hopefully, that will be inspiration for this weekend’s tournament, the jewel on Pepi’s’ schedule. The locals will be in the Gold Division in Pool A. They have El Muneco (Friday, 6 p.m.), Greeley (Saturday, 8 a.m.) and Brighton (Saturday, 1:15 p.m.) in pool play. All of those games will be at the Vail Athletic Field.The top two teams from each of the four pools advance to Sunday’s Elite Eight, single-elimination tournament. Were Pepi’s to advance, it would play the No. 1- or No. 2-seed from Pool D, which is composed of the Rocks, Park City, Littleton and the Denver Soccer Club.Onyx, Aguilas de America, the Kickers and America make up Pool B. Pool C is the Runners, Centauros, the Rovers and the Chicago Grasshoppers.

Pepi’s started the Colorado Mountain Cup slowly, falling behind Montesillos, 2-0, after the first half. But, the boys rallied nicely for a 3-2 win. Doug Schwartz fed a beautiful cross to Goehring, who headed it in to halve the lead. Goehring struck again, courtesy of a nifty pass from Eddie Schoenbein. Late in the second half, Miller Lewis was taken down in the box. Nacen Gray did the honors by putting the ball in the side netting for the game-winner.Next up was Token, and Token was truly a token opponent. Pepi’s cruised to a 6-0 victory with goals going to Jeff Ruiz, Lewis, Brian Hay, Eddie Schoenbein and Gray.

Pepi’s and Littleton renewed their rivalry in the pool-play finale. Pepi’s upped its record to 3-0 when Gray and guest-player, Rich Vanhersett, ripped the twine in a 2-1 win.Against Pumas, Pepi’s got on the board 10 minutes in on a highlight-reel goal from Gray. Schoenbein passed to Gray, who executed a sideways bicycle shot into the net. Pumas pressured heavily in the second half and broke through late, setting up its golden goal.”We used a lot of subs, trying to save our energy for the later rounds,” Goehring said. “We usually get tired later in tournaments, so we wanted to stay fresh. We played well. We played just good, smart soccer.”

Support Local Journalism