VMS booters fall to St. Mary’s 4-2
EAST VAIL – The Vail Mountain School boys soccer team gave an effort worthy of the pregame Homecoming ceremonies Saturday afternoon, but came up on the short end of a 4-2 decision against St. Mary’s.
Before the game, captains Duncan Robinson, Sylvan Ellefson, Patrick Scanlan and Howdy Tuthill officially opened The Bob, the school’s new, turf field, with appropriately-colored, orange ceremonial scissors.
And VMS soccer coach Bob Bandoni, along with other luminaries christened, the field with speeches.
“Most of the world calls soccer, “The Beautiful Game,’ he said. “Take a look 360 degrees around you. This is a fitting setting for “The Beautiful Game.'”
And, by and large, VMS played beautifully, but errors in the back – as well as a myriad of injuries – spelled defeat.
“We’re leaving the field really hungry and anxious,” Bandoni said. “We saw something from ourselves for 60 minutes of the game that we really haven’t seen all season – very good soccer, very disciplined soccer. All of that, with four players absent, injured and not able to play.”
Your walking wounded would include Scanlan, Ellefson, Casey Kleisinger and Ian Talbot.
St. Mary’s dominated early and struck first blood on the first of two goals from Andy Nigro – and it looked, for a while, like it would be an ugly Homecoming loss for the Gore Rangers.
But, VMS settled, and, midway through the first half, Robinson played a beautiful through ball to Tuthill. From there, the senior collided with the Pirates goalie, won the collision and knocked the ball into the empty net.
With the field still tilting toward the St. Mary’s end, Coulter Somes lined a nifty seed to Sebastian “Seabass” Faessler, and VMS led, 2-1, at the half.
Unfortunately, the second half was pretty much all St. Mary’s. Jack Boyd evened the game for the Pirates. A VMS defensive breakdown led to a direct, penalty kick, which Nigro was glad to convert for a 3-2 Pirates’ lead.
Boyd scored his second with 10 minutes to go to finish matters.
“We know we have some issues (in the back), but sometimes, it’s more complicated that just looking at a certain part of the field,” Bandoni said. “We also think, with better communication, that we can double up when we need to double up. We think also playing a faster and more disciplined defender will protect us from the penetrating walls that are getting into our box and causing problems back there.”
With the loss, VMS fell to 1-4 on the season. The Gore Rangers are next in action on Thursday against Eagle Valley at the Eagle County Fairgrounds at 4 p.m.
Just for kicks: Both teams lined up on both sides of a net placed near midfield for pregame ceremonies, opening The Bob, though VMS had already played a game on the pitch, defeating Roaring Fork, 4-2, earlier in the week. Headmaster Peter Abuisi made some welcoming remarks, followed by speeches from both David Ferguson and Pat McConathy, co-chairmen of the the Imagine Campaign. That group has been raising money not only for the new soccer field, but for the complete remodeling of the school. Bandoni rounded out the proceedings… Appropriately, the color of the ribbon was orange,
Chris Freud is the sports editor for the Vail Daily. He can be reached at (970) 949-0555, ext. 614 or via firstname.lastname@example.org.