Sherman, Vail Mountain roll Bears
Vail, CO Colorado
RIFLE – On her younger sister’s 16th birthday, Maggie Sherman stole the spotlight.
But big sister’s effort helped land Amy Sherman quite the birthday present: a girls soccer victory for Vail Mountain School.
Maggie, a senior who has been dubbed “The Tank,” scored four goals and Misha Harrison chipped in with two as the Gore Rangers topped host Rifle, 6-2, on Thursday.
While she felt bad about snagging the spotlight on her sophomore sister’s big day, Maggie acknowledged that winning made a difference.
“Kind of, yeah,” Maggie said with a grin. “I was trying to get it back to her, but winning kind of helped. … We’re going to celebrate tonight.”
Behind Maggie, teamwork and a bit of good fortune, Vail Mountain wasted little time engineering a big lead on an afternoon that featured a medley of snow and sunshine.
The senior led off her barrage of goals by burying a short shot in the aftermath of a corner kick roughly seven minutes into the game.
After Rifle’s Jocelyn Bracamontes sent a long shot from the left corner just over the outreached fingertips of Vail Mountain goalkeeper Claire Elitch to level the count in the 15th minute, Sherman struck on a penalty kick. She sent a sharp roller to the right of Rifle keeper Jazmine Quintana for a 22nd-minute tally to put the Gore Rangers back in front.
Three minutes later, Sherman scored in the wake of a corner kick to finish off a quick hat trick. She buried goal No. 4 in the 31st minute, pouncing on a ball that deflected off the post for an easy score and a 4-1 lead.
“We talked about, before the game, how we have to play with one mind, one team,” Sherman said. “We really focus on opening up the field and the team worked really well with that. I was able to be at the right place at the right time with a lot of those goals.
“I definitely relied on my teammates to get those goals.”
Harrison padded Vail Mountain’s advantage with two goals before halftime, the second in the final minute.
In the second half, Gore Rangers coach Bob Bandoni and his squad played it conservative, working the ball around and honing the offense.
“Mostly, we tried to see if we could possess the ball by moving the ball faster,” the veteran coach said. “We wanted to see if we could anticipate where the second and third passes were going to go.”
The Gore Rangers went scoreless in the second half, while Bracamontes put a second goal on the board for the host Bears. In the 76th minute, she drilled a high-arching shot from way out that skimmed off Elitch’s fingertips and went in.
“We tell her to crank those balls from out there,” Rifle coach Richard Carter said. “If it goes off the goalie or does something funny, someone will be there to clean it up.
“I’m very proud of those girls and the way they turned it around and kept their heads up. They played some real good soccer in that second half.”
Carter’s Bears, now 1-2-1 overall, are off until an April 5 home date with Roaring Fork. Vail Mountain (4-2) hosts Rangely Saturday at 11 a.m.
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