Vail Mountain School soccer tops Titans, 1-0
Gore Rangers win fourth in a row
VAIL — Thursday’s Vail Mountain School-Coal Ridge game won’t hang in a museum, but the result might turn into something beautiful.
The Gore Rangers squeaked by the Titans, 1-0, for their fourth win in a row, and their seventh in nine outings with only a 1-0 loss to 5A Fruita Monument and a draw against Telluride as their only blemishes.
Then again, pretty wins against Coal Ridge are few and far between for the Vail Mountain School. Has it really been five years since Dylan Cunningham plowed through a Titans defender in the box to spring Kevin Garcia for a controversial overtime win?
Yes, and if you’re a Gore Rangers fan, that was a good clean play from Cunningham. (Totally a foul.)
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Returning to the present, Sven Barr to Declan Gore during the first half did the trick for VMS (6-3-1)
Now two-thirds of the way through the season, the Gore Rangers are starting to smell the postseason.
“Knowing that the regular season is coming to an end and that postseason is coming up is something to look forward to,” senior Zach Stockton said. “We have our eye on the horizon.”
The horizon is orange, people, the chosen color for all stylish Gore Rangers in the postseason. Before Thursday’s tilt, VMS was 16th in the rating-percentage index, well within the cut of 32 teams.
The Gore Rangers were well-organized in the back and in the midfield.
“They’re starting to possess the ball better in the center of the field,” said Brian Sweeney, who is one of the coaches with Alex Darbut. “I would say that there is definitely some work to be done in the transition from defense to the finishing third. But the guys are gaining confidence.”
VMS busted through midway through the first half.
“It was a great through ball from Zach,” Barr said. “I took it with my cheat, brought it forward and got it over the defender and it was a good volley by Declan.”
As Sweeney said, the Gore Rangers need to iron out the final third and Coal Ridge struggled to put its shots on frame, but that’s three more points in the good guys’ column.
VMS starts the final kick of the regular season with a date against the Colorado Rocky Mountain School on Saturday. With CRMS, Roaring Fork, Denver Christian, Delta and Aspen left on the slate, the Gore Rangers face four teams with winning records and the archrival Skiers.
“We’ve been asking them before the last five games, how they can find more inside themselves to give to the group,” Sweeney said. “I think we’re finding that. They’re starting to play for each other, not just for the result. That’s a huge steop forward for this group
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Jeff Shiffrin, with his wife, Eileen, made the Vail area their home decades ago, and together raised Mikaela and Taylor Shiffrin, who was a member of the two-time NCAA Champion University of Denver Ski Team.