Alvarado leads Bears to win
RIFLE – Jorge Alvarado left Bears Stadium limping Thursday night. But, he was smiling as he grimaced through the pain.Prior to exiting the Class 4A Western Slope League against Eagle Valley in the second half with an ankle injury, Alvarado made the red-clad Devils’ defense, red-faced by scoring the game’s first three goals in Rifle’s 5-1 blowout win.Not bad for a guy playing his first game in a new position.”We moved Jorge and Bryan Cloninger from the midfield up top to create more possessions,” said Bear coach Tom Taucher, whose position changes erased a four-game winless streak and Rifle’s first victory since their season-opener against Grand Junction two weeks ago.”We wanted a different lineup and it clicked,” the coach said.The moves paid off immediately.Within 90 seconds of the opening kickoff, Alvarado raced to a loose ball toward the far right post, then zinged it through the legs of Eagle Valley goalie Ross Herr for a quick lead.”I knew the defender was outside, so I just went for it,” Alvarado said of the early scoring opportunity.RIFLE: see page A17RIFLE: from page 16And the Bears, led by Alvarado, kept going for it offensively all night.Rifle barely missed connecting on three rushes before Alvarado penetrated the net, for the prettiest goal of the contest, in the 22nd minute. Following up an advantage after an Eagle Valley foul outside the penalty area, the Bears Seth Martin curled a free kick from the right side over to the far post, high enough for Alvarado to redirect the opposite way.Alvarado earned his hat trick by whistling a cross-field low liner to the right post with 3 minutes, 41 seconds left in the first half.Cloninger scored Rifle’s fourth goal eight minutes into the second half, junior Adrian Macias added the game’s last goal in the 76th minute.Billy Rodriguez had the Devils only score in the 57th minutes.
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