Roaring Fork soccer ties Coal Ridge 1-1
The Roaring Fork Rams hosted the Coal Ridge Titans in what proved to be a nail-biting clash that ended in a 1-1 draw on Thursday night.
The tension started early when Coal Ridge’s senior captain, Zion Williams, found the back of the net after converting a penalty kick. The foul on senior Alexis Serna in the box set up the opportunity with 17:28 left in the first half, giving the Titans an early lead.
Just minutes later, a near-perfect corner kick from the Rams was barely saved by Coal Ridge goalie Jorge Kestler after Roaring Fork senior Foster Hayes attempted a shot from 35 yards out. The score remained 1-0 in favor of Coal Ridge.
But the drama didn’t stop there. A questionable decision by the referee resulted in a yellow card for Roaring Fork senior Jacob Barlow with 11:01 left in the first half. The decision left the Rams visibly confused.
Late in the first half, a massive collision occurred as Roaring Fork’s Gabriel Salas collided with Kestler. No card was awarded, but the impact of the collision saw sophomore goalkeeper Colbran Ingelhart replace Kestler for the remainder of the first half. However, Kestler returned in the second half.
Salas was not immune from the referee’s decisions, receiving a yellow early in the second half after persistently challenging the officials throughout the game.
Despite numerous attempts by both teams, the game’s next major break came from Roaring Fork. Barlow made a solo effort but was thwarted by Kestler’s excellent save. However, Yandel Silva managed to find the net with an assist from Fernando Rodrigues, leveling the score at 1-1 with just 22 minutes to go.
The game’s intensity continued to increase as Coal Ridge’s Orbil Valdez struck the post following a free kick from junior Josh Chamorro. As the match neared its end, Coal Ridge appeared to have found the winning goal with only 35 seconds left, but it was disallowed due to an offside penalty, sealing the 1-1 draw.
“We come to play every game no matter the circumstances,” Coal Ridge head coach Mike Mikalakis said. “We were missing some key players for our team tonight but we come out here and these guys play for one another.”
“We are going to continue to work on the same things that we have been emphasizing in practice and we are going to continue to improve our game,” Mikalakis added.
On the other hand, Roaring Fork head coach Nick Forbes expressed frustration over some of the referee’s decisions.
“The first half, we feel like the referee kind of put his hand on the game and changed the game with a couple questionable calls,” Forbes said. “Our halftime message was we can’t control what they do, we just have to come out and play our game.”
“I thought we did a good job controlling possession,” Forbes noted. “We are going to learn from this game and do what we can to get better and prepare for next week.”
Looking ahead, Coal Ridge will head upvalley to face off against the Basalt Longhorns, 4 p.m. Tuesday. Thursday’s draw sees the Titans holding onto a 3-3-1 record heading into Tuesday’s matchup.
The Roaring Fork Rams will travel to take on the Vail Mountain Gore Rangers, 4 p.m. Thursday. The Rams now sit with a 4-0-2 record on the season.
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