VMS soccer defeats Aspen, 4-1
EAST VAIL — A belated happy birthday to Kitz Petrovski, who turned 9 on Tuesday.
Dad, aka VMS soccer coach Pete Petrovski, was also in a happy mood after his team picked up 4-1 win at Aspen.
We remind you that this is a nonconference game, but, as Tim Robbins said in “Bull Durham,” “Winning, it’s like better than losing.”
With that profundity out of the way, VMS won its third straight behind rotating strikers. Down 1-0, Petrovski gave his strikers a breather — it was just a rest; no judgment was involved — but that created some nice opportunities for Thomas Singleton and J. P. Emblad.
A textbook set piece, a beautiful corner kick from Pablo Aziz to Singleton who had an equally lovely header into the back of the net, was the equalizer.
“At the half, we talked to the boys and told them to calm down and play their game,” Petrovski said. “They came out and did it with full force.”
Eriz Zdechlik came in on the left side and laid it off to Liam Hurley for a 2-1 lead. Then, “since it worked in the first half,” Petrovski said, in came Singleton and Emblad again. Singleton won a ball at midflied and played a little give-and-go with Kevin Garcia. The result was a perfect pass to Emblad, who had a sliding finish for a 3-1 lead.
Another point of focus during halftime was putting shots on frame. Petrovski challenged his team to put 10 shots on goal in the final 40 minutes. The Gore Rangers managed only six, but three of them in.
“We’ll take that shooting percentage,” the coach joked.
As if to reinforce the point, VMS got its fourth goal when Robby Gruber’s shot went off a defender and into the net.
Also key to the victory were center-midfielders Dylan Cunningham and Garcia, who controlled the flow of play.
The bad news from Tuesday was that goalie Hunter Meier went down with a separated right shoulder during the first half. John Linn, who was last year’s starter in net, came in and locked it down. Petrovski, who does not play a doctor on TV, said he doesn’t know how much time Meier will miss.
In the meantime, it’s another nonconference game against a Slope opponent on Thursday at iconic Bandoni Alumni Field when Roaring Fork comes to town. While it doesn’t count toward the league table, the Gore Rangers (3-1) have a score to settle with the Rams. Roaring Fork won twice last year against VMS.
“I really like the way we ended today,” Petrovski said. “We need to carry that over and be able to do that on Thursday.”
Devils blank Basalt, 4-0
Eagle Valley soccer did not look ahead.
The Devils took care of business on Tuesday, blanking Basalt, 4-0, at John Ramunno Field.
“You have to respect every game,” Devils coach Bratzo Horruitiner said. “You’ve got to play it game by game.”
It’s cliche and it’s true, particularly when Eagle Valley could have been looking ahead to Thursday’s revenge match at Glenwood Springs.
The Devils opened the season with a 2-1 overtime loss to the Demons. Scientists are still trying to figure out how they lost that game as Eagle Valley seemingly had every chance in the world to win, while Glenwood Springs had only two scoring opportunities, and, naturally, converted on both.
All the Devils have done since that possibly crushing loss is reel off six straight wins. Now, it’s time for payback.
“We’re starting to look forward to playing Glenwood again,” Horruitiner said. “That’s where our season starts. It will be an important match.”
Eagle Valley lost to Basalt last year, 2-1, so Tuesday was another marker of the Devils’ development.
Alex Torres and Noel Ruiz scored the first two against the Longhorns. In the second half, Basalt gave Aaron Ledezma too much room in which to operate. That’s a really bad idea, as Basalt discovered. While Ledezma’s goal gave the Devils a 3-0 advantage, the fourth was the talker.
Ledezma served a corner kick into the box, but it deflected off a defender and out to Juan Garduno. The junior absolutely crushed his shot for a terrific finish.