PREP ROUNDUP: Coal Ridge soccer upends league champ Roaring Fork
The Coal Ridge boys soccer team ended the regular season on a high note, knocking off 3A Western Slope League champion Roaring Fork 2-0 Thursday to keep the door open for a state playoff spot.
After a scoreless first half of play on the Coal Ridge soccer grounds, the Titans got back-to-back goals about 20 minutes into the second half from freshman James Weber and sophomore Tony Ayala.
“We brought in some of our young kids to try to get a fresh pair of legs in the match, and they lit it up,” Titans coach Mike Mikalakis said.
Weber’s goal came on a rebound off Roaring Fork keeper Noah Wheeless. Weber then assisted Ayala on his goal with a cross pass at the 6 to give Coal Ridge the margin of victory.
The win leaves Coal Ridge at 5-9-1 overall and 2-4 in league play, with a shot at making the playoffs, Mikalakis said.
“We’re close, so we’ll see on Monday,” he said of the state pairings day. “No matter what, it’s a great way to end the regular season.”
For Roaring Fork, the predetermined WSL champion at 11-2-1 overall and 5-1 in league, it’s a wake-up call, coach Nick Forbes said. The Rams will likely lose a spot or two in the all-important RPI rankings as a result of the loss. Entering the game Thursday, Roaring Fork held the No. 3 spot.
“It’s a sad way to end a league-winning season,” he said. “We have to get back to fundamentals, and take it from there.”
The Rams will likely host at least a first-round game in the 3A playoffs next week, and possibly a second game if they win, Forbes said. After that, they’ll most likely be on the road.
In other Thursday night preps action:
3A girls volleyball
Coal Ridge 3, Fruita Monument 1 (22-25, 25-21, 25-16, 25-23)
Grand Valley 3, Aspen 2 (25-12, 25-19, 23-25, 23-25, 15-10)
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Down 14-7 with less than 11 minutes left in regulation, Rifle head coach Todd Casebier decided it was time to deviate from his ground-and-pound offense for a bit of an aerial attack.