Vail Mountain soccer begins quest for orange |

Vail Mountain soccer begins quest for orange

VMS Tony Ryerson PU 10-23-07

EAST VAIL, Colorado ” If everyone involved with Vail Mountain soccer has a say, midfielder Carder Lamb will not play goalie this year.

“Hopefully not,” senior striker Tony Ryerson said. “It’s nothing against his goalie skills. We just like him in the field.”

Lamb in goal because of an plague of injuries to VMS’ goaltending corps was just one stellar memory from 2007. (For the record, he had a shutout against Aspen.) The Gore Rangers also made the state playoffs, cracking out their orange postseason jerseys for the first time since 2004, finishing with a stellar 13-3-1 record.

So what to do for an encore?

VMS is thinking orange again.

“Especially for the older guys, it gives us tremendous motivation,” Ryerson said. “For anyone who was at either of our (playoff) games, it’s a really special feeling. You can’t compare it to anything else. It gives us a lot of motivation. We want some redemption, to see how far we can go.”

VMS starts that road today at Steamboat Springs with an 11 a.m. kickoff.

Meet VMS

We’re proud to report that Sean Minett returns in goal for the Gore Rangers. As a junior, he shined brightly for VMS in the clutch.

“He gives us a lot of confidence,” Lamb said. “It’s nice to have Sean. If we get beat ” and obviously, we don’t want that to happen ” he can save us if we need it.”

Freshman Nick Vossler and junior Stefan Sterett will back up Minett.

Replacing the graduated Chris Woods and David DeLine on defense will be key. Not only were the two excellent players and team leaders, but they were VMS’ center backs.

Junior Sean Woods, Chris’ younger brother, and Forrest Graves are penciled in there. Robert Fitz, Coleby Henzlik and Will Foster will be on the outside.

“Chris and David are pretty irreplaceable,” Lamb said. “But Sean, Forrest and Fitzy are really talented. Forrest is a little quieter, but Fitzy is a great leader. They’re going to fill those spots, even though we’ll miss Chris and David a lot.”

Lamb and Ruben Saucedo will anchor the midfield along with Juan Carlos-Hernandez and Cole Maritz.

While statisticss are frowned upon at VMS. Ryerson returns, coming off a 15-goal season. We bring up the stat not to needle coach Bob Bandoni ” though that is fun ” but because his 15 goals were generally significant ones. Five of them were game-winners and three were equalizers.

“I think that the strength in Tony is how he plays within the system,” Bandoni said. “He is as efficient in finishing as he is in creating opportunities for other players. I know it’s cliche, but he does make other players better.”

And the hope is that Ryerson makes space for fellow strikers like Austin Cerny, Charlie Grant, Cole Graskamp, Rob Wear and Matt White.

Get ready

No one can accuse VMS of having a cream-puff schedule. One of the smallest schools in 3A, VMS opens today at 4A Steamboat, followed by a road game Friday at 4A Summit. The team’s league opener is the next day against Slope power Basalt.

And just in case you’re wondering, VMS’ other nonconference tilt is at Denver Christian, the defending 3A state champion.

“I’m actually looking forward to the competition this season,” Bandoni said. “I think everyone of our opponents is going to be strong. Everyone in the league seems to be at their peak. We’re going to be challenged every time we got out, and we need to be pushed.”

Or as Ryerson put it more directly. “Hopefully, we’re going to beat Basalt. That’s what we’re looking for.”

Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 748-2934 or

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