Central edges Glenwood, 6-5 in boys soccer opener
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado With less than two minutes to play in his teams opener and the game knotted up at five goals apiece, Grand Junction Centrals Kahler Grandbouche didnt want to see his hat-trick go to waste. Instead of seeing his Warriors play to a tie or even worse, a loss Grandbouche saw his opportunity to send his teammates back to Grand Junction on the long bus ride with smiles on their faces .Breaking in front of teammate Stevie Palma in the middle of stoppage time, Grandbouche gathered in the long cross and deked the Demons defender with a nice inside move before beating Glenwoods goalie Kurt Hartmann with a nicely placed ball in the right corner of the net.It was Grandbouches fourth goal of the evening and the game-winner for the Warriors as they overcame two two-goal deficits to edge Glenwood Springs, 6-5.We just never gave up, Grandbouche said afterward while wiping the sweat off his brow with his jersey. Commenting on his opportunity at the end to win it, Grandbouche added, I didnt mean to shoot in and take the pass meant for Stevie [Palma], but I was able to get in and just finish it off.Because he did finish it off, his effort overshadowed an almost equally impressive effort from the Demons senior forward Ryan Young, who notched his own hat-trick with three goals, all of which came in the first half as the Demons built a 4-2 lead.[Ryan]s a strong player, Glenwood Springs head coach John Mount said afterwards. He can finish and just loves to work the perimeter line. You never know what hes going to do and with his finish ability, its always something good to have.Young opened the scoring with a rebound off of Centrals keeper Tyler Felker after an early corner kick in the fourth minute. Then he made it 2-0 in the 19th minute when sophomore midfielder Ryan Buchanan set him up beautifully with a brilliant feed across the goal to the far post where Young sat waiting to tap it in. It looked early on like the Demons were going to be too much for the young, 5A Central squad as they controlled the pace and were crisp and accurate with their passing while the Warriors were constantly off the mark, squandering golden opportunity after golden opportunity.However, that wouldnt last as the Warriors finally took advantage of another golden opportunity in the 24th minute when the Demons defensive line again playing up at midfield watched as Central (1-0) sent a deep ball over their heads and senior forward Casey Johnson (who finished with four assists) won the sprint after it, deked his defender to draw the keeper out just enough to allow Palma to score and exact some redemption after he misfired on an empty net chance.Seven minutes later, in the 31st minute, Grandbouche scored his first of four goals to tie the game up for the first time and seemingly steal the momentum from the Demons sideline.That momentum quickly disappeared, though, when Young completed his hat-trick with a goal in the 35th minute off of another great pass, this time from a fellow senior, midfielder Fabian Tapia.I couldnt have done it without any of the great passes from my teammates, said Young.As an exciting first half came to a close, Glenwood Springs (0-1) proved they werent satisfied with just a one-goal lead. This time Buchanan got in on the action after receiving perhaps the best pass all game courtesy of junior forward Sydney Van Horn which threaded the needle thru the Warriors defense right into the waiting feet of Buchanan who beat Felker to complete the play.It put an exclamation point on a terrific first half for the Demons, one which saw their leader, Young, put up a hat-trick. Glenwood Springs was clearly in control as the game headed to half number two.But thats why they play until the three trills of the whistle are heard from the referee.Whether it was a conservative gameplan, a few substitutions on Centrals part or just straight execution by the Warriors, Central stole the win from the Demons grasp when they came out in the second half and scored three unanswered goals within the first 25 minutes (45th and 65th minute by Grandbouche and in 62nd minute by defenseman Nick Abeyta on a beautiful deep shot that arched over the keepers head).We were aggressive to the ball in the second half, said Centrals Head Coach Larry Johnson. We knew that if we kept taking shots downfield, getting the breakaways…that with those three guys up front [forwards Kahler, Johnson and Palma] eventually we could take advantage of the opportunities.They certainly did. It took a foul in the penalty box on Glenwoods Young and Tapias subsequent conversion of the penalty kick to knot things up once again with under 10 minutes to play. From there, Central and Grandbouche just simply wanted it more.I got lucky, Grandbouche said in reference to his four-goal performance. Its just important that we got the win.Whatever it was, skill or luck, Central will hope to see plenty more of it from Grandbouche over the course of the season.As for the Demons it was a disappointing finish to a game that began with so much promise,We were trying to play conservative with them, up two goals, said Mount on the first half lead, but they were aggressive and kept running through and getting breakaway chances.I was impressed with the kids in their first game this season against a 5A squad that took us to the cleaners last year. Were still figuring out our lines so I was pleased with getting five goals already this early in the season.Both teams continue play on Tuesday, Sept. 2 as the Demons travel to face Steamboat Springs and Central goes to Coal Ridge to battle the Titans.
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