Coal Ridge nets first win of inaugural season
PEACH VALLEY – Speedy Titan Darwin Cortez scored two goals, both in the second half to help the Coal Ridge boys soccer team win its first match on Saturday with a 4-2 victory over Vail Mountain.It took seven games for the Titans to manifest their first win in their inaugural season, after losing tough games to teams like Basalt, Eagle Valley and Aspen. It couldn’t have come on a better weekend, giving Coal Ridge a win in its homecoming game.The win also put a tally in Coal Ridge’s Class 3A Western Slope League victory column and handed Vail Mountain its first WSL loss.
“Everybody put something in and it feels really good (to win),” Cortez said.Down 2-1 at halftime, the Titans came out ready to go in the second half. With the gusty wind at their backs, they scored two goals in the first 10 minutes to take a lead they never lost. The first came when J.J. Riddile hit Cortez, who was flying down the field and scored his first goal to tie the game at two. The two joined forces again for Coal Ridge’s next goal, both assisting Adrian Torres’ header into the back of the net.
“We’ve got a couple players with a lot of speed,” said Titan head coach Shawn McElroy. “If we can get them the ball, they can usually make them pay for it.”Over the next 20 minutes, Vail Mountain fired six shots on Titan goalkeeper Skylar James, who bobbled three of them, but with help from his defense and a little luck, none scored. Other Gore Ranger shots went wide, missing the goal by inches, while another deflected off of James’ outstretched finger tips, hitting the top post and then bouncing out.”It was frustrating for us,” said Vail Mountain head coach Bob Bandoni. “We created a lot of chances and just couldn’t finish.”
Coal Ridge sealed the victory on a direct kick with 10 minutes left in the game. Cortez lined up his shot, and from about 30 yards out, sent a rocket into the right upper corner that was practically unstoppable.”I tried to get that in,” Cortez said of his shot. “With the wind in our favor, I just tried to get it in.”In the first half, Vail Mountain scored first on a Tucker Sheldon penalty kick. Titan Ryan Zelenka tied the score on an assist from Cortez, but the Gore Rangers regained the lead on a Jackson Higgins’ breakaway that ended in a one-on-one that got by James.”Being so young, we made silly mistakes. The two goals in the half were results of us making errors in our end and they punished us,” McElroy said. “In the second half, they eliminated some of the errors and got back to playing quick combinations and they played well.”
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The Coal Ridge High School boys soccer team saved it all for the second half Thursday night at Palisade, scoring the 4-0 win to close out the regular season undefeated atop the 3A Western Slope…