Shermans lift Vail Mountain in OT
EAST VAIL – When there is a problem, just send in a Tank or two.
That worked for Vail Mountain School soccer Thursday against Grand Valley at Bandoni Alumni Field. Maggie Sherman, to whom Gore Rangers coach Bob Bandoni affectionately refers as “The Tank” – scored a golden goal in the 81st minute to lift VMS to a 1-0 win over the visiting Cardinals.
And the assist went to Maggie’s younger sister, Amy, so this was a double M4 job on a weird day at The Bob.
“I’m surprised it took that long to get the ball in the net,” Maggie said. “It was insane. If that’s what it takes, that’s what it takes.”
For Vail Mountain, it was the team’s second win over the Cardinals in five days. That the margin went from 3-0 Saturday at Parachute to an overtime squeaker was a good sign for Grand Valley coach Kelly Clark.
“The girls definitely improved overall,” she said. “They did a lot of adjustments overall on the field today. We held them clear to the very end. That’s a huge accomplishment. The girls worked well on the field together. They were on the ball. They played well.”
VMS’ longtime coach was not officially around to see the end of this one. Somewhat dismayed about the interpretations of some calls and quite outspoken about a no-call involving a collision which sent the Gore Rangers’ Sally Ryerson to the bench with a left-arm injury, the Bandon got a rare red card in the second half.
He watched the rest of the game from the school’s old log cabin, which is north of the pitch which carries his name. Assistant coach Charry Morris took it from there, upping her varsity record to 2-0 in such situations. (Battle Mountain’s David Cope, 2003, a 5-1 win against Canyon City.)
For the trivially inclined, this is actually Bandoni’s second red card of his career, the last one coming in the early ’90s. Bandoni will not coach the Gore Rangers today at Rangely, one of his favorite outposts of the Western Slope, along with Paonia.
None of this seemed to bother the young ladies actually playing the game.
“We always talk about how once we step in between the lines, it’s about soccer and nothing else,” Sherman said.
After the game, Bandoni was pleased with how his squad dealt with a tight game.
“We were obviously managing the run of play,” he said. “When it came to the final attack on goal, I thought we were a bit too ambitious. What we were trying to do is develop one more combination into the box. We were trying to get the ball to the (end) line so we could have a better angle across the box. Maggie’s finish was clinical.”
Speaking of finishes, Grand Valley nearly came away with the win in regulation. Cardinals sophomore Kristen Schubert clanked one off the crossbar in the second half.
“We had it right there,” said Clark, whose team fell to 1-6. “Our follow-through wasn’t quite in place on time. That was a strong run and a good effort.”
VMS (2-4) heads to Rangely today, while Grand Valley is off for spring break. The Cardinals return to action April 8 against Vail Christian in Edwards.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 or email@example.com.