Rifle soccer suffers loss to Eagle Valley; Glenwood, Coal Ridge win
With Eagle Valley controlling possession most of the first half, Rifle boys soccer had to play a bit of catch up.
During their 3-1 loss Saturday to the Devils in fact, the Bears at one point encountered a three-point deficit well into the second half.
“You know, we’re battling a lot of injuries — that’s our biggest problem right now,” Rifle head coach Jackie Carter said. “So, just adjusting for that, we need to play the game we know how to play, which is an aggressive game — first to the ball and working on making good passes.”
The bears were first punched in the jaw about 17 minutes into the first half.
After Bears left midfielder Yahir Loya had a good look on Devils starting goaltender Tirin Cameron, missing wide left from the top of the penalty box, Eagle Valley responded with the game’s first goal. Down in the Rifle defensive zone, Devils sophomore Heath Nager headed in a bouncer past Rifle goaltender Bryan Rubio.
Near the 20-minute mark Nager would again find himself in the score column, booting it in opposite corner of Rubio for the Devils’ second goal of the game.
About nine minutes later, Eagle Valley senior Said Riestra netted the Devils’ final goal of the game, sending them into halftime up 3-0.
It wouldn’t be until 15 minutes into the second that Rifle would shatter Eagle Valley’s shutout chances. After dribbling his way through traffic nearly five feet above the penalty box, Rifle junior Daniel Carreon would boot a bending long ball and bury past Cameron in the top-shelf corner.
“He just found the placement,” Carter said. “He was open and he got it in the right spot at the right time. Danny’s a great player. He’s got a lot of heart and he’s got a lot of touch on the ball and was able to control it and get it in.”
Despite regaining plenty of lost possession time from the first half and finding better looks on Cameron, the Bears just couldn’t find enough magic to stage a comeback.
“It’s the first game, and I really do think the injuries the kids had really had an impact on how the outcome came out,” Carter said. “I think if we can get these guys healed up and get going, it’s going to be a good season.”
Up next, Rifle travels to Battle Mountain for a 6 p.m. game March 23.
In other recent action: It was Glenwood Springs (2-0) defeating Steamboat Springs 6-2 on Saturday following a 2-0 win at Eagle Valley last Tuesday; Coal Ridge (3-0) 5, Fruita Monument 1; Crested Butte 4, Colorado Rocky Mountain School 0; and on Thursday it was Delta 3, Roaring Fork 0.
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