VMS, Vail Christian play to draw
EAST VAIL, Colorado ” After Vail Christian and Vail Mountain played to a scoreless draw Wednesday, one thought of the old cliche that a tie is like kissing your sister.
That having been said, Vail Christian has so many siblings on its roster that would be confusing and VMS is so short-handed these days there’d be nobody to kiss.
So you might as well scrap the concept.
For the visiting Saints, Tuesday was their fifth game in six days. Vail Mountain was missing a a good part of its roster which was on a school trip to Mexico, so the Gore Rangers played all 90 minutes with just 10 players.
And so the first edition of the Go Vail Blue rivalry on the pitch went down as a 0-0 tie.
“The last thing we needed was overtime today,” Saints coach Barbara Wilson said. “It’s good for them, though, but tomorrow, we’re just going to watch some soccer video and rest.”
“We’re down players. It’s a psychology we have to deal with,” VMS coach Bob Bandoni said. “But as far as pushing their limits, we had multiple opportunities to score. We hit the woodwork once, and that’s what you have to ask of folks. We actually played and possessed the ball well. So it is what it is.”
As the second half wore on, both teams were clearly looking weary. VMS’ Molly Etters had a chance to break the deadlock, but her shot hit the right post.
That was the only help Saints goalie Dakota Francis needed. She played despite an injured left knee, a souvenir of Friday’s game at Basalt.
“I hate sitting out. It’s good to watch, but not from the bench,” Francis said. “It was nice to get out there and help.”
The big test for Francis came in the first overtime when Mia Bandoni got some space for a shot from the left side. Francis blocked the shot to keep it scoreless.
“It is heart-stopping, but Dakota’s got great positioning,” Wilson said. “My only concern is that she’s going to have to go for a dive. Luckily, the shots were great shots on her above her waist. I have full confidence in Dakota.”
That VMS had a solid scoring chance in overtime was surprising, given that the Gore Rangers played the entire match short-handed.
“It was exciting,” Etters said. “I know as a team we could have done a lot better. Usually, we do a lot better finishing. Today, we just couldn’t. I’m glad with the effort we put forward.”
Meanwhile, Vail Mountain keeper Elsie Macsata did her part to keep her team square. She was clutch, stopping the Saints’ Brooke Bowles on a corner from Taya Westerberg during the second half.
Big games ahead
At 4-5-1, Vail Christian has two games left on the last and a chance of finishing above .500 in their first varsity season. The Saints host Olathe Saturday and Grand Valley Monday. Both games are at 3 p.m. at Freedom Park in Edwards.
“We have two potential wins this weekend,” Wilson said. “It would be great to finish well and finish strong. They’re going to be ready.”
Meanwhile, VMS, 5-3-2, caps the season with back-to-back games against Basalt. The Gore Rangers are on the road Saturday and then host the Longhorns Tuesday.
“We’ve been looking forward to these games for the whole season,” Etters said. “We know that they’re our biggest opponent. Mentally, we have to be ready. Physically, we have to be ready. We’re just working in practice for different strategies.”
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 748-2934 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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