VMS dumps Rams, 4-2, on new field
EAST VAIL – The Vail Mountain School made itself at home on its new, turf field Tuesday afternoon with a 4-2 win over a undermanned, but feisty Roaring Fork team.
“The field’s awesome,” VMS junior Sylvan Ellefson said. “It’s home now.”
Certainly, it was for Ellefson, who scored the game-winner late in the first half, dribbling around Rams goalie Matt Pucak. After the goal, he went running toward VMS co-coach Mike Morris with a message.
“Before the game started, I promised him that I would score,” Ellefson said. “So I kept my promise.”
VMS came out of the box hot as Patrick Scanlan fed Howdy Tuthill from left to right for an easy tap-in and a 1-0 Gore Rangers lead in the first minute.
Though VMS dominated most of the play, Roaring Fork tied it when Alfonso Flores clanked one off the crossbar and Reyes Torres slammed home the rebound.
The game started turning into a track meet when, just minutes later, VMS senior Duncan Robinson weaved through several Rams defenders and put one by Pucak. VMS made a point of marking the Rams’ Jason Ibanez, but the Rams co-captain evened up the match at two with a hard shot into the left corner.
After Ellefson’s goal and the halftime whistle, both teams settled down. Gore Rangers’ goalie Michael Busnehart made a nifty save on Ibanez midway through the second half and, by then, the Rams were running on fumes with just 10 players on the field.
“I’m definitely pleased with our effort,” Rams coach Sara Weiss said. “You just adjust the best you can. The kids go in, knowing it. It’s hard, but they have great hearts and go in there and work it. (Fatigue) definitely does play a factor. We have a lot of kids who are hurting. It’s hard playing with no subs.”
VMS sophomore Jake Utzig rounded out the scoring with a penalty kick.
VMS, which is at CRMS Thursday, raised its record to 1-2 overall and 1-1 in league, while Roaring Fork fell to 1-5 and 0-3, respectively.
“The game gave us the opportunity to work on some things, especially changing the point of attack,” VMS co-coach Bob Bandoni said. “What it exposed, once again, is a lack of creativity in the final third. With that said, in this game, we began to see more creativity. We saw our outside guys coming inside. Our inside guys coming out. So we’re making some cross-pattern runs. I still think we can be much more productive attacking.”
VMS post-game props went to the likes of Scanlan and freshman Casey Kleisinger.
“Patrick Scanlan plays with a lot of heart and a lot of the play actually goes through him,” Bandoni said. “What I was most pleased about was that he was facilitating other players, instead of dominating himself, which is a real sign of maturity.”
As for the freshman Kleisinger?
“We grin on the sidelines,” Bandoni said. “He continues standing next to players who are a foot taller than him and, probably, who are three years older than him. With a little bit of deceit and good timing, he continues to get behind defenders with the ball at his feet.”
Chris Freud is the sports editor for the Vail Daily. Contact him at (970) 949-0555, ext. 614 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.