Vail Mountain rout of Rams turns ugly
VAIL – The Vail Mountain School’s soccer team took offense to a disputed Roaring Fork goal midway through the first half of their 3A Slope opener Tuesday at The Bob that cut its lead to 2-1. The response? The Gore Rangers continued to dominate the outmatched Rams for the remainder of the match, netting four more goals and nearly connecting on a half-dozen others for an easy 6-2 win.On the other side of the ball, the visiting Rams took offense to being routed in a game in which both teams’ tempers had flared following the contested goal. The response? A physical game turned into a chippy one in the second half with a few elbows, some shoves, a little jawing and a yellow card for the Rams’ Abe Flores who had to be restrained by one of his teammates before leaving the field. “It got chippy and I can sympathize with the opponent,” VMS coach Bob Bandoni said. “They were obviously pretty far off the competitive mark and we were making changes accordingly so that we can try and maintain some dignity for them. Still, I understand that when it feels like you can’t get anything going.”An anomalyThe contested goal came after VMS strikes from Patrick Scanlan and Max Avery had given the Gore Rangers a comfortable 2-0 lead.
The Rams main scoring threat, Manuel Mondragen, was on a run toward the goal with a defender draped on him as VMS goalie Michael Busenhart charged toward Mondragen to stop his shot attempt.Busenhart did stop the shot that Mondragen fired, but illegally at that, as the senior snatched the ball out of the air almost three feet in front of the goal box. Realizing his mistake, the goalie then dropped the ball and pedaled backward as one referee blew his whistle to stop play for the ensuing hand-ball penalty. In the midst of the sounding whistle, Mondragen squared up and fired again, this time for a goal, even though it appeared that play had stopped. The ensuing ruling drew the ire of Bandoni, since the referee gave a red card to Busenhart – the right call on what was an intentional hand ball – but then also awarded the Rams the goal.Afterward, Bandoni said the call was the right one, but was obviously irked by the decision in the ensuing moments directly following the goal. Play stopped for nearly three minutes while both teams argued with the referees.”I believe that the officials were right,” Bandoni said. “I wish that all officials would play that way. What we are typically used to is that when one whistle is blown, everybody kind of waits for the second whistle. It’s such an odd thing to see our goalie holding the ball three yards outside of the box and then he put the ball down for the guy. It was such an anomaly in that situation. “I don’t think there would have been a goal, but the referee has to play it according to how he sees it. The second thing is that I’m very much in support of momentum in the game. He blew a whistle for a foul. Our guy put the ball down and looked up and then their guy knocked it in the goal. The player was smart and he took advantage of some confusion. It was a smart move.”If the Rams had any momentum after that goal, it was fleeting. Bandoni’s team regrouped at the half and then came out and put on a clinic in the remaining 40 minutes.The Gore Rangers were at a disadvantage in net, having to replace Busenhart with junior Drew Riley, who doesn’t even play goalie, but that didn’t seem to matter.
The first half score didn’t allude to how much VMS had dominated early on, and Bandoni’s team decided to force that issue after the break – goalie or no goalie.”What we did after that was we started to play the way we needed to play, which was pushing up more and playing quicker,” senior Sylvan Ellefson said. “What we were doing before was kind of ridiculous. I think we should have been ahead, 5-0, within the first 30-35 minutes. As soon as we started pulling it together and scoring goals, it came together.”Back on trackEllefson himself was the first to get his team back on the scoreboard once play resumed. He scored the Gore Rangers’ third goal of the afternoon on a direct kick from just outside the left corner of Roaring Fork’s goal box after the See VMS, page A35Rams’ James Armstrong was whistled for pushing.The free kick was a low liner that crossed all the way into the bottom right corner of the goal and snuck past goalie Omar Garcia. Avery was also instrumental on the play since he jumped to get out the way as the ball sliced toward the net.
The next goal came only a minute later when Casey Kleisinger charged from the right side and flicked a ball past Garcia. The ball had squirted out to him off a Roaring Fork deflection, after a cluster of VMS players had swarmed around the ball in the box, but were unable to get it into the net. The rout was officially on after that. Bandoni’s team had a number of other prime scoring opportunities as the game wound down, including two balls that ricocheted off the goal post.The final two VMS scores came from Brian Wood and Tyler Kjesbo.Kjesbo’s lofting strike from the middle of the box came immediately after Roaring Fork scored its second goal of the game on a penalty kick in the game’s waning moments.With the win, VMS improved to 2-1 overall and 1-0 in the 3A Slope.VMS plays next at CRMS Thursday at 4 p.m.Contact Nate Peterson at 949-0555, ext. 608, or via e-mail at email@example.comVail Colorado