Devils blank Demons in league soccer showdown
GYPSUM, Colorado – The Devils and Demons locked horns Tuesday and they played, ahem … a helluva of a game.
Eagle Valley’s Devils scored early in a downpour, and made it stand up for a 1-0 win over Glenwood Springs’ Demons.
Eagle Valley got on the board first on a scramble in front of the net with five minutes gone in a rain-soaked first half.
Striker David Ortiz was fouled just outside the penalty area and lined up the direct kick above the top left corner of the penalty box.
Ortiz looped a seeing-eye shot that Glenwood goalie Jose Betencourt had to deal with in pouring-down rain and heavy traffic. Betencourt managed to punch it away, but it landed near Eagle Valley’s Noel Ruiz, who booted it in for a 1-0 Eagle Valley lead.
The Devils made it stand up for their first win of the season. Glenwood fell to 1-2 overall and to 0-2 in the 4A Western Slope League.
Eagle Valley’s defense closed ranks around goalkeeper Brandon Cano, whose heads-up save late in the first half kept Glenwood scoreless.
A long shot from the top right of the box sent him soaring to the crossbar as the shot rose. He parried it and scooped it up as a crowd of Glenwood attackers converged on him.
Another scramble 10 minutes into the second half saw Cano dive into a pile of Glenwood attackers and throw himself face down on the loose ball, just three yards in front of the goal.
With 15 minutes left in the second half, Cano again came up huge. A Glenwood breakaway had him charging to the top of the penalty area, where he flung himself head first on the ball and at the feet of the Glenwood attacker, who couldn’t get away and knocked Cano in the back of the head as he tried to jump over.
Glenwood coach Steve White is one of the patriarchs of Western Slope soccer; he was on the organizing committee that brought soccer to Glenwood Springs High School in the 1980s, and coached the boys and girls team for years. He returned to coach the girls a few years ago, and the boys this year.
Like the head of a clan with winning in its very marrow, he and his Demons were frustrated but gracious with the loss.
“We have to give Eagle Valley high praise for the speed and continued pressure they kept us under,” White said.
Glenwood had several chances to score, but didn’t.
“We’re a team capable of beating them,” White said. “Our decision-making on the field cost us the game.”
Eagle Valley coach Bratzo Horriutiner likes the progress he sees his Devils making.
“We’re working hard to get the concepts down that enable us to play a more organized way,” said Eagle Valley coach Bratzo Horriutiner.
His Devils played in position, were disciplined and managed the clock, Horriutiner said.
“It was a smart victory,” he added. “We’re getting better every game.”
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