Vail Mountain School soccer keeps rolling
EAST VAIL — If you score three goals, then fans usually throw their hats onto the playing surface.
Sorry, it was too cold during the Vail Mountain School’s 6-0 win over Vail Christian on Thursday at Bandoni Alumni Field in East Vail.
Emma Hall and Sydney Sappenfield, sans chapeaux, did the honors as the Gore Rangers moved their record to 4-0.
Though this game was decided early, there’s no reason to hand the Vail Mountain School a second-straight 2A state title, nor should Vail Christian give up on the season.
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The Gore Rangers are doing everything they should be doing given their schedule so far. With no disrespect whatsoever to the Saints, the Gore Rangers are one of the top teams in 2A, and they have been dispatching teams so far this season to the tune of four wins by combined score of 20-0.
Truthfully, VMS is playing against itself rather than the 3A/2A Western Slope sides it’s faced to date.
“We want to move the ball,” said Gore Rangers freshman Anwyn Urquhart, who apparently is getting the theme of VMS soccer quickly. “Tick-tock, tick-tock, like Barcelona.”
While head coach Bob Bandoni does not like an emphasis on state such as goal scorers — he usually cannot remember who scores in a game — there are numbers that are important to his teams.
It’s about switching the field and runs on the end line. Those are meticulously counted and that’s what VMS was doing well. Teams that switch the field on the attack can find seams in opposing defenses and exploit them with a run along the end line and the ensuing cross into the box.
VMS did that nicely against the Saints, but the key remains speed. The entire goal of Thursday’s game and similar contests is all about speeding up this process as the season progresses.
“I am leaving the pitch with visions of our distributing midfielder playing with more confidence and seemingly a higher level of insight to the game,” Bandoni said. “Our center striker Maddy Cooper was integrated into our possession in a sophisticated way. She was checking back and asking for the ball. We were trying to develop our rhythm as it relates to the pace of the game and I thought we made strides.”
Stop snowing, please
Vail Christian was meant to be playing its fourth game of the season on Thursday. Instead the Saints were on game No. 2, having last played three weeks ago at Coal Ridge.
Last week, the Saints were snowed out against Rocky Mountain Lutheran and Vail Mountain. Thursday’s game was, in fact, meant to be Round 2 against the Gore Rangers.
Vail Christian was in an unenviable spot of not having games under its belt and playing a very good team that had a lot of experience.
“We’re still fitting the pieces of the puzzle together,” said Barbara Wilson, who is coaching the Saints with Lauren Mutter. “We’ve got a lot of good pieces, but we are figuring out where they fit together best. I think they haven’t had a lot of time together on a field, so we’re seeing that. We need to make the transition from reacting to the other team to being proactive.”
Vail Christian is scheduled to pay Roaring Fork on Saturday but the Rams may not have enough players for the contest. That is the definition of irony for the Saints.
One of the reasons, Vail Christian should be enthusiastic about the season to come is that the program has depth this year.
“It’s exciting to see the younger players, not only their enthusiasm, but their willingness to learn the game,” Wilson said. “For the first time moving forward, we’re not just trying to fill 11 players, we’re trying to find the best 11 players.”
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934, firstname.lastname@example.org and @cfreud.