Bears top Demons on penalty kick
RIFLE – Mark Knighton doesn’t like to win nor lose on a penalty kick, but that doesn’t mean the coach and his Rifle boys soccer team didn’t relish a 2-1 golden-goal win over neighboring Glenwood Springs on Thursday.Senior captain Garret Babcock, tripped up near the endline just moments earlier, skipped home the winning goal for the host Bears on a penalty kick just over two minutes into overtime.Babcock went right with his shot and there was nothing Glenwood goalkeeper Kurt Hartmann could do as the ball rolled into the goal for a sudden-death ending to a physical ballgame.A relaxed approach is what Babcock said worked for him. “I was just doing what I always try to do on a PK,” he explained. “I put a smile on, relax and what happens is what happens.”What happened was a Bears’ win in a game littered with Demon scoring chances. Glenwood twice hit the crossbar with rocketed, mid-range shots and missed a penalty kick of its own 1 minute and 14 seconds into the second half.”This is a shocker,” said Demons coach John Mount, whose team dropped to 3-5-1 overall and to 3-2-1 in the Class 4A Western Slope League. “We definitely thought we dominated the field. The ball just didn’t bounce our way. We had some fantastic 1-on-1 chances. We got lucky on a few and they got lucky on a few.”After a scoreless first half featuring a handful of scoring chances for both squads, Mount’s team grabbed a 1-0 lead five minutes into the second half. Dillon Martin jammed home a rebound amid a sea of red jerseys in front of the net in a goal set up by a free kick that traveled nearly half the field.But Rifle (3-4-1 overall, 2-2-1 4A WSL) responded nearly nine minutes later when Evan Muldoon headed a forward pass to a streaking Scott Rust, who rolled a breakaway shot to the right of Hartmann for the equalizer.The score stood until overtime, but not without drama. Most notably, a crossbar rejection of a shot by Glenwood’s Chris Lloyd with five minutes left in regulation. The Demons did the same thing in the first half.”That was an exciting game, a very exciting game,” Knighton said, happy to have escaped with a win. “Glenwood hits the post twice and misses a PK. I would not want to lose on a PK. We would not want to let them get those kinds of looks again.”Though, in the end, the ball just seemed to bounce the Bears’ way, the home team did take the field shorthanded. They were without twin midfielders Ricardo and Pablo Salgado, who missed the game to attend a family funeral. That left Rifle with just one sub, meaning ironman soccer for all on the Bears’ bench.But that just added to the on-field drama.”For a crosstown rivalry, that’s what you’d want from the game,” Knighton said. “There was tension. It was dramatic.”
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