Saints finish with a bang in Edwards
EDWARDS, Colorado ” It was an end, yet it was a beginning at the same time.
Vail Christian girls soccer finished its season by thumping Grand Valley, 5-0, Monday at Freedom Park in Edwards. While every coach and team instinctively starts looking to next year the moment after the current year is done, the feeling was more acute after the Saints polished off the Cardinals on Senior Day.
“I’m going to CSU, so I’ll probably come back and watch some games,” senior Hannah Morris said.
“I want to see them get better and see how far they can go,” fellow senior Nayeli Hernandez said. “I think they’ll do amazing things.”
The Saints finished their first varsity season with a winning record of 7-6-1, and displayed the potential of the team in Monday’s win.
“The girls played beautifully,” Saints coach Barbara Wilson said. “I could ask nothing more as a coach than to watch the girls pass the ball well, controlling the ball well, moving off the ball well, everything we worked on this season. This game was a compilation of what we’ve been working for.”
Senior Kelly Bowles logged the first hat trick in Saints history, while Elizabeth Shearon and Taya Westerberg each scored goals.
Dakota Francis got the shutout in net.
The team honored seniors Bowles, Hernandez, Morris and Laura Orduno during half time.
“All four of them have always been consistent at practice since they’ve all started,” Wilson said. “They’ve played very well and had a sense of perseverance. None of them were vocal leaders, but they were all consistent and led by example.”
“It’s good, but it’s kind of sad at the same time,” Hernandez said. “It’s our first year at varsity. I just want to keep playing and winning.”
And while the Saints will miss this quartet, one senses that Vail Christian is ready to jump into 2009. Vail Christian played as an independent this year, but will join the 3A Slope next season.
The Saints played every team that will be in next year’s league except for Roaring Fork. A safe assessment, looking at results and the league standings, puts the Saints right in the middle of the pack with the Vail Mountain School ” the two teams played to a scoreless draw last week. Teams like Basalt, Coal Ridge and Aspen are a cut above the Saints right now, while the Vail Christian is ahead of Olathe, Grand Valley and likely Roaring Fork.
Given that the Saints had to battle to get outdoors, not to mention a home field ” Monday’s game was one of only three contests this year that Vail Christian wasn’t on the road ” it’s definitely a start.
“At the start, I had know idea what the competition was like,” Wilson said. “I watched what my girls were doing in the gym, and it seemed like they had good basic skills. We came out and saw some teams which have well-established programs. We’ve had to be flexible. Where are we going to practice? Are we going to have a game? I’m very pleased with how the girls have developed.”
Stay tuned. Spring practice starts Feb. 17.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 748-2934 or firstname.lastname@example.org.