VMS soccer cracks out the orange
EAST VAIL – To refresh your memory, the Vail Mountain School does have a girls’ soccer team. The Gore Rangers just haven’t played a home game since April 1.VMS returns to The Bob – The Igloo is gone because the pitch’s snowbanks have finally melted – and the Gore Rangers will do so in their favorite color.VMS hosts Colorado Academy in a 3A state-seeding game Friday at 4:30 p.m. in its traditional postseason orange.”The boys(‘ soccer team has) done it over and over, so it’s great for us to wear orange for the second year in a row,” VMS striker Kris Caples said. “Last year, we went into it with no idea what to expect. This year it’s super exciting and we’re going to have a good experience no matter what the outcome.”For the VMS faithful, a postseason date with Colorado Academy is a trip down Nostalgia Lane. The Gore Rangers, one of the smallest soccer schools in the state, wear orange to imitate the Dutch, one of the smallest soccer nations in Europe.And orange fever likely reached a peak on Nov. 1, 2000, when the VMS boys’ team knocked off the two-time defending state champions – Colorado Academy – 3-1 in the 3A state quarterfinals.So let VMS coach Bob Bandoni stir up the echoes of Oscar Alcantar, Daniel Mackintosh and Wade Cheatham.
“A little irony and a little fun,” Bandoni said with a smile. “We did share that story at today’s practice, just a reminder. The most direct connection, besides me as a coach, is Janelle (Kibler-Silengo) because Janelle’s brother (Tyson) played on that team.”New faces in new placesVMS has been changing things around since its last appearance at The Bob, a 3-0 win against Rangely. The Gore Rangers have struggled scoring goals this year, especially from its strikers, so the Bandon has tinkered.Karlie Moore has moved back to center back and Caples is now the center striker. With Molly Etters and Lani Bruntz helping anchor the midfield, VMS has found some cohesiveness among its thirds.”The advantage with a center back like Karlie is that she can find a player through or over the midfield,” Bandoni said. “Because Kris has a tendency to be withdrawn, there have been times where we can take a Lani or a Molly and send them through. We have a little bit of a Clockwork Orange in the middle of the field, a little bit of exchanging of positions. It gives us a unique dynamic.”No word on whether Bandoni will play Beethoven Ninth during Friday’s game.
Two things that haven’t changed start with goalie Cely Brinkmann who has been outstanding all year and will be in the net Friday.”She really anchors us,” Bandoni said. “There’s really no question about that. We are able to play a little more aggressively because of her.”VMS will also have a large group of orange-clad fans along the sidelines at The Bob.”I think the best part is knowing that we’re going to have all of our fans cheering for us,” Caples said. “Friday is Orange Day and everybody will be in orange for the soccer team. It’s nice that everybody’s going to recognize that we made the playoffs and come out and watch us.”Meet the MustangsColorado Academy finished the regular season with an 8-5-2 mark and was fourth (5-2-2) in the highly competitive Metro Conference. The Mustangs played league champion, Faith Christian, to a scoreless draw, and fell to powers Kent Denver, 2-0, and Denver Christian, 2-1.
Marlena Hartman-Filson leads the Mustangs with eight goals and three assists, Sarah Feldmann, Kerry Ergen and Lee Burkett are also scoring threats for Colorado Academy.Since VMS (7-5-1) played only one nonconference game – a loss to Coal Ridge – there are no common opponents between the two teams. C.A. did beat 4A Summit, 4-0. Battle Mountain beat the Tigers, 5-0, in its season opener.”We’re assuming that they will be the best team we play this year,” Bandoni said. “I think that’s a fair enough assumption. Given that, we could not demonstrate during the season that we could argue parity with the top-two teams in the league (Basalt and Aspen), we think it’s fair enough that we go in with a humble disposition, believing that we are legitimate underdogs.”Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 748-2934 or email@example.com.Vail, Colorado
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