Fielding three different goalkeepers, VMS upsets Rifle
EAST VAIL, Colorado – That’s why they play the games.
Rifle soccer was already favored, going in to Tuesday’s league game at Vail Mountain, having bounced the Gore Rangers, 5-2, in the season opener for both teams. When VMS goalie William Sterett went down in a heap, this had to be a Bears’ win, right?
Behind substitute goalies Garrett Cerny and James Newton and a goal in the 66th minute from Ben Hymes, VMS pulled out a 1-0 upset for its first win of the season.
“I think it’s a testament of character,” VMS coach Slade Cogswell said.
The Gore Rangers showed heart and also demonstrated why high school sports are just so fun to watch.
Ten minutes in, Sterett was involved in a clean collision with a Rifle player in the box. Sterett was down for several minutes being tended to.
One minor problem, aside from the obvious one, VMS’ backup goalie, Newton, assuming he was starting the junior varsity game, wasn’t on site yet.
“I got the call when I was on my way,” Newton said. “I was actually pulling into the school, so I started early.”
While Newton was getting warmed up, Cerny, a field player, played goal for about five minutes, making one save which will grow in scope and glory as the years pass. Newton entered and VMS ended up with your average three-goalie shutout.
Sterett appeared to have sustained a right-rib injury. That’s where the ice packs were being applied before he left the sideline in the second half.
Meanwhile, VMS started to get the majority of the chances in the second half and finally broke through after a few offsides calls.
“I had just gotten called offsides three times earlier,” Hymes said. “So I was running a diagonal inside. I saw Clay [Kirwood] and he put it through right as I stepped forward. I was on a breakaway, but I was kind of listening for the whistle, and it never came. I took a one-touch and put it in the side netting.”
VMS upped its record to 3-8 on the season, and plays at Grand Valley on Friday.
“It’s nice to know that when we play our game and when we play as a team, that we can play with any team,” Cogswell said.
Rifle fell to 5-7-1 overall and 4-3 in the 3A Slope. The Bears will try to continue their playoff hunt Thursday at Hotchkiss.
“We didn’t go to the ball,” Bears coach Rich Carter said. “We didn’t play like we should have played. We didn’t play possession. We kicked the ball around. It’s disappointing We’ve had momentum the last few weeks with a bunch of wins. Vail kind of squashed that.”
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