VMS gets the finish against Cards
EAST VAIL – The players have changed from Brandon Levy to Tessy Holguin. The coaches have changed from Bob Bandoni to J.D. Caldwell. Even the pitch has changed, but one issue remains the same for Vail Mountain soccer – finishing.
Up 1-0 against Grand Valley Tuesday afternoon, VMS finished with authority, ringing up four second-half goals on its way to 5-1 league win against the Cardinals at Bandoni Alumni Field.
“At half, we said that golden rule sometimes is that you get three goals against a team and that can be the finish,” Caldwell said. “Our goal was to get to that third goal. They came out with tenacious fire. I think we scored in the first two minutes of the second half. We were finally able to convert. To see them finish, they’re getting the taste for the net.”
The coach was right. VMS did burst out of the gate in the second half, scoring in the 41st minute. Ben Hymes jumped on a Grand Valley turnover and lofted it into the right side of the net.
That was a part of a big day for the senior who had a goal and three assists. It was also sweet redemption for both Hymes and the team. VMS had two opportunities in last week’s game against 3A Slope power Coal Ridge and did not convert in a 2-0 loss to the Titans.
Ryan Schmidt got that precious third goal in the 54th minute on a Hymes helper, and VMS struck again one minute later as Garret Cerny found the back of the net. And, surprisingly enough, the assist went to Hymes.
Cerny made it two for the game with an electric run down the right side and a nifty pass from freshman Dylan Cunningham for a 5-0 lead at the time. Grand Valley’s Luis Vicencio scored late for the Cardinals.
While the game was lost for Grand Valley, it was a big moment for the second-year varsity program. Just six games into the season, Grand Valley equaled the number of goals it scored all year (11) in its maiden voyage into varsity play in 2011.
“I think we still battled,” Grand Valley coach Chris Sarno said. “We still played. Obviously, our goal was to get the first goal, not to give up the first goal. Being down 1-0 at half was very positive for us. Obviously, in the second half, that was not the case.”
Hymes to Clay Kirwood got Vail Mountain (2-2) going in the first half. But behind the scenes, something bigger was happening for the Gore Rangers. One of the goals of this game was to organize the back, and that worked.
To that end, Caldwell had postgame kudos for the play of Mike and Andy Wright, Alec Girten, Brandon Rosenbach and Willy Fair.
Grand Valley hosts the Colorado Rocky Mountain School in Parachute on Saturday at 11 a.m., while VMS has Aspen at the same time in East Vail.
“It’s the nonconference match but it doesn’t matter,” Caldwell said. “It’s Aspen.”
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 or email@example.com.