VMS edges Colorado Academy, awaits draw
DENVER — His name is Liam Hurley. But you can just call him, “Mr. Golden Goal.”
No. 10-ranked Vail Mountain School soccer finished up the regular season with a stunning 2-1 victory at No. 6 Colorado Academy, the two time 3A state champions, on an overtime goal by young master Hurley.
The sophomore has six goals in 2014, and two of them are golden, the other coming against Aspen on Sept. 30.
Vail Mountain School finishes the season with an 11-3-1 mark and awaits its seeding today at chsaa.org.
Before the goals, Kade Manula was the Gore Rangers’ Man of the Match. Manula got the defensive assignment of CA’s top scorer, who just happens to be old friends with VMS striker Clay Kirwood. (Small world.)
“He did everything we needed him to do,” VMS coach Pete Petrovski said of Manula. “They kept attacking on his side, and he did the job.”
And formal happy returns to Ryan Schmidt. The senior, who usually plays defense, got the assignment to play up top and Kirwood fed him for an early 1-0 lead.
CA leveled it during the second half, and it stayed tied into the second overtime.
“We didn’t play our best game,” Petrovski said. “Our touch was off. They knew it and they stuck with it. They grinded it out. The kids never quit. We said to them, ‘This is what the playoffs are going to be like.’”
And VMS certainly would like to see more results like this one. On the ultimate possession, the Gore Rangers started down the left side, switched the field and Kevin Garcia, owner of a golden goal against Coal Ridge, fed Hurley for the winner.
Looking at numbers, this should be a pretty good win for VMS as far as seedings go. CA went 38-0-2 on its way to two state titles the last two years. The Mustangs are 10-4 this season, and in second place in Region 6. CA is one game back of Kent Denver and a half-game ahead of Faith Christian. All three of those Front Range teams are very well known to the seeding committee.
VMS also has a draw against Denver Christian, tops in Region 7, and a win against Alexander Dawson, a team tied for second in that same region.
“That’s out of our control,” Petrovski said. “We did all the stuff we can do. We scheduled what we though was a tough nonconference schedule, and I think we showed we can compete with anyone in the state. We’ve done all we can.”
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934, firstname.lastname@example.org and @cfreud.
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