Vail Valley preps: Eagle Valley falls, 5-0, in soccer opener
GYPSUM – Eagle Valley’s march back to Colorado prep soccer’s Elite Eight was a step in the right direction, even if that step was painful, said coach Jason Ritmiller.
The Devils fell to Coal Ridge, 5-0, Thursday night, the first time the Titans have won their non-league match against Eagle Valley.
For Eagle Valley, the sun will come up tomorrow just like Li’l Orphan Annie says it will. When it does, Ritmiller says his team will have much different outlook on life.
“They’ll come back tomorrow and they’ll be a new team,” he said, looking out at the field where the Devils had just been handed one of life’s little character building moments.
For Coal Ridge, it was a big win for the consistently improving program.
“They took it to us the last two years,” said Coal Ridge coach Brian Blair. “Jason has a great program. They’ve been to the final eight each of the last two years, and to play this well and win on the road is a huge confidence builder for us.”
Eagle Valley suffered an own goal for the only score in the first half and a 1-0 Coal Ridge lead at halftime.
The Titans dominated the second half with Alfonso Hernandez nailing a hat trick – scoring all three in a 15-minute span of the second half.
Coal Ridge’s Luis Pena dropped a shot into the lower right corner for the Titans’ fifth goal with two minutes left and the 5-0 win.
Thursday’s game was the opener for both teams.
Some Eagle Valley players were sick and few were injured. The Devils only senior was out for Thursday’s opener. That sort of thing is both wonderful and terrible for players and coaches, Ritmiller said.
He said several underclassmen stepped up to cover varsity spots, and that was encouraging.
“We were in a pinch and we asked some guys to step up and play. Some were a little out of position and for others it was their first varsity experience,” Ritmiller said. “It’s the sort of experience you want to try to get for them early in the season, so they’ll be ready when they’re needed.”
Still, Ritmiller said the Devils have much more than they showed Thursday, and next time out they’ll all see it.
“Tomorrow we’ll see a whole new team show up,” he said.
Eagle Valley is at Middle Park Tuesday.
Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 or firstname.lastname@example.org