Vail Valley preps: Montrose wins rematch vs. Devils
GYPSUM – Eagle Valley learned a little and grew a lot in a soccer loss to Montrose Thursday night.
Montrose upended the Devils 4-1 in a non-league match. It was no small measure of revenge for Montrose, whom the Devils knocked out of the state playoffs last year.
The Devils took a few lessons away from the loss, which coach Jason Ritmiller said would serve them well as the playoffs draw closer.
“Montrose is a good team and showed us where we need to improve,” said Ritmiller.
Ritmiller was already compiling a list of drills he’d use during the next few days, pushing the Devils where he wanted them to be.
“We’re now working specific aspects we want to improve,” Ritmiller said. “Instead of building a group of players into a team, we’re refining our team.”
Most of the Devils played well and aggressively, Ritmiller said.
“I thought Alexis Fernandez had a strong game,” Ritmiller said. “Kevin and Nestor Escobar were dominant in the mid field.”
Daniel Lopez put the Devils on the board with three minutes left.
Midfielder Geovanni Novella floated a cross that stuck to Javier Gallegos like cotton candy. Gallegos rifled a shot to the right corner and the Montrose goalkeeper made a diving save.
But the ball slipped away and Lopez, crashing the net from the right side, drilled it home for his first goal of the season and the Devils’ first goal of the night.
“It felt good to get that goal,” Lopez said after the game. “A lot of teammates had to make all the right moves to make it possible.”
Montrose scored twice in the first half for a 2-0 halftime lead. They added their third goal with 25 minutes left in the second half, and their fourth with 10 minutes left.
The Devils have some time to put it all together. They’re off until next Thursday when they host Moffat County.
“After that much practice and a high quality opponent, we’ll know even more,” Ritmiller said.
Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 or firstname.lastname@example.org.