Still in orange, Vail Mountain School cruises in Round 1 |

Still in orange, Vail Mountain School cruises in Round 1

Vail Mountain's Peter Ferraro scores the Gore Rangers' first goal of Friday's first-round playoff game against Crested Butte. VMS defeated the Titans, 3-0.
James Mill | Special to the Daily |

EAST VAIL — Nice shorts, fellas.

Yes, that is the first and last time the Vail Daily will ever use that lead.

Donning the usual white tops with orange shorts to comply with CHSAA rules, the Vail Mountain soccer team took care of Crested Butte with a 3-0 on Friday afternoon at Bandoni Alumni Field during the first round of the 3A state playoffs. The Gore Rangers play Vanguard Academy at 1 p.m. at The Bob in Round 2.

Finding the finish

The No. 4-ranked Gore Rangers controlled the game with possession and multiple scoring opportunities.

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“I liked the way we played,” Gore Rangers coach Pete Petrovski said. “The only thing I would change would be the finishing. We had the possession the majority of the time, controlled the pace of the game. We just need to finish better.”

Everyone has nerves before the first playoff game, and the initial outing of the postseason is rarely a work of art. There’s also the fact that VMS was playing in front of the entire school. While, to a man, the Gore Rangers love that support, it’s different.

Pablo Aziz’s free kick in the 30th minute sprang Peter Ferraro for the first tally. During halftime, Petrovski encourage his players to be a little bit more selfish.

This is nice problem to have — a team that likes to move the ball well — yet there is a time to crack a shot or three.

“We just wanted to keep doing what we were doing, quick passes and getting off quick shots,” midfielder Erick Zdechlik said. “It’s kind of frustrating to have the ball a lot and not have too much to show for it. It was nice to be able to finish a couple more in the second half.”

Just after the VMS bench wanted a penalty kick when Ferraro was knocked down in the box on a scoring chance, the Gore Rangers got that key second goal — Ferraro to Kevin Garcia.

“Before that goal, I beat the same defender, but I couldn’t do much to my left,” Garcia said. “This time, I beat him and I kept it on my right and I was able to finish it. It was a pretty crucial goal to keep us ahead.”

Liam Hurley added a third and VMS (14-1-1) was on its way to the second round.

The shorts

CHSAA rules dictate that home team must wear white tops. That’s good and bad at the same time for VMS. The Gore Rangers, if they advance, are at home through next week’s quarterfinals.

On the other hand, the boys soccer team only has the orange tops and shorts for the school’s postseason tradition of wearing that color in the playoffs. To stay within the rules, the coaching staff busted out the orange shorts after Thursday’s practice.

“I think it’s the best time of year for the school. It’s so much fun,” Zdechlik said. “All the little kids are looking up to us. I was one of those little guys looking up to Sylvan Ellefson (class of 2005), when they were wearing orange. So it’s always a dream of mine.”

“I like them,” Garcia said. “I think it looks good. It’s good luck.”

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

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