Semifinal time: VMS vs. Front Range Christian | VailDaily.com

Semifinal time: VMS vs. Front Range Christian

This is a familiar photo as the Vail Mountain School girls soccer team lines up for the national anthem at last year's state semifinals. The Gore Ragers are back in the semis today at All-City Stadium in Denver to face Front Range Christian at 5 p.m.
Daily file photo |

Get your orange and your synergy on.

Team Disposition of the Psyche, aka Vail Mountain School soccer, faces Front Range Christian at All-City Stadium in Denver during the 2A semifinals at 5 p.m.

And just in case you mix up all those Denver stadia, yep, this is the same place we’ve all been for previous VMS semifinal events — the boys soccer team vs. Kent Denver and the girls vs. Denver Christian — in the last year or so. (I say that simply so I can program it into my phone and not get lost.)

With a bit of purpose

Let’s start off by noting that there will be no Bob Bandoni or Donald Trump jokes because when I renamed the Gore Rangers’ pitch Trump Alumni Field, VMS lost to Dawson, 3-2.

That may have not been the worst thing ever happen to VMS soccer. The Gore Rangers are very polite and always say all the right things, but it was apparent that they did not like that Dawson celebrated on iconic Bandoni Alumni Field. (There is simply a Trump prohibition. Bob is always fair game.)

Just talking to Annie Blakslee and Tess Johnson, when I brought up the Dawson game, after VMS dispatched Telluride, I could see it in their body language.

That’s good. Keep the collective fire smoldering a bit.

Even though the Gore Rangers are the No. 2 seed, they remain the hunted. VMS won this thing last year, and everyone knows it. Front Range Christian will bring its best today. Dawson/Evangelical Christian will bring their best, if VMS is lucky enough to make the finals.

Game on, ladies.

The Falcons

As the Gore Rangers discovered in a 6-2 win against the Falcons in their regular-season game, Front Range Christian has speed. The marks today are Sophie Kern (No. 4) and Elisa Dean (No. 9), who’ve combined for 24 goals.

And, by the way, the 6-2 win means nothing. VMS beat Dawson 4-0 last year during the regular season and then squeaked by 2-1 in title game. Take nothing for granted.

Switch the field, use the flanks, cut to the end line and do so with speed. (It ain’t a state secret, people, especially when you’ve been covering Bandoni-coached teams for a few years now.)

And if I’m allowed a Wooden-ism, be quick, but don’t hurry, VMS.

Orange crush

As with any VMS playoff game, the names of Oscar Alcantar and Danny Mackintosh must be invoked. It’s hard to believe that the Colorado Academy game was nearly 16 years ago.

And, by the way, since I had people ask me why VMS wears orange for the playoffs on Friday, a refresher course. In 1998, VMS stumbled into the playoffs through a technicality. That was also the same year that the Dutch won the Euro Championships. Since the Netherlands, which always wears orange, is one of the smallest teams in that competition and VMS, at the time, was one of the smallest schools playing in Colorado, Bandoni showed a highlight film of the Dutch winning and surprised the 1998 team with orange tops. VMS blew the doors off Bishop Machebeuf, 7-0, and the tradition began.

The next big orange game was the aforementioned Colorado Academy game, when VMS beat No. 1 C.A. (I only mention Alcantar and Mackintosh because that’s the beauty of soccer. People you’d never expect might score in a playoff game.)

Since then we’ve had “Scanlan in the Snow,” Pete Petrovski’s pants, which just deserve a mention, Eric Zdechlick this fall and, of course, last year’s run to a 2A title for the ladies.

Get your orange on, peeps, and be loud.

Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934, cfreud@vaildaily.com and @cfreud.