Colorado Rocky Mountain School’s defense puts clamps on Roaring Fork
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
CARBONDALE, Colorado ” Taking advantage of a single misstep of their opponent, Colorado Rocky Mountain School (2-5-1) pounced midway through the first half and held on with a stout defensive effort to come away with a 1-0 win.
The ball was precariously settled deep in the Roaring Fork (2-4-3) zone, but even as defenseman Bryan Salinas controlled the ball, Oysters’ forward Robin Ruddell wasn’t to be dissuaded. Slipping ever slightly, Salinas fumbled and Ruddell stole away possession as he sliced through towards the net and sent his shot sailing past Rams keeper Luis Medina.
“[Salinas] slipped and I just ran onto the ball and he fumbled it and I capitalized on it,” Ruddell said. “Our defense is definitely our strong point. We did a new lineup this game and it worked out.”
The match between the two squads started out rather slowly as the teams got settled in and went through their feeling out process. After about five minutes, Roaring Fork began to assert control, even taking a short-lived 1-0 lead.
Extremely short-lived as it would turn out.
A Rams forward connected with a shot that ricocheted off the crossbar and down over the goal line. Or so the team thought.
As the team jogged back to midfield celebrating their early one-goal lead, the referee waved the goal off, determining that the ball never crossed the line entirely.
So the game remained scoreless and the Rams were left frustrated. It wasn’t until the 20-minute mark of the first half when Ruddell made his steal and eluded the Rams goal keeper that either team cracked the scoreboard. And as it turned out, that was all the scoring to be seen.
“We switched some things around,” CRMS head coach Dan Pittz said afterwards. “Our focus for the past week has been collective pressure … to just really control different areas of the field. And I think it came together tonight for us, our intensity was up a bit higher”.
“I think it’s a happy time for us,” Pittz continued. “It’s always nice to win and I think at this point in the season you have to be realistic and know that we’re playing more for each other and maybe for a little bit of pride more than anything else. To see them working hard for each other is nice.”
The play in the second half was remarkably different from that of the first half despite the lack of goals. Both teams fought hard for possession against some excellent defense. While the play in the first half was a little lackluster, both teams played with good energy in the final half with the result hanging in the balance.
Neither team was able to assert itself over the other as the possession constantly traveled back and forth between the two squads. But as the time drifted away, Roaring Fork began to put the pressure on the Oysters’ defense only to miss tying the game by inches on a couple occasions.
“CRMS came out really strong,” Roaring Fork head coach Jon Ackerman said. “Both teams played a really serious, hard fought game. We had a really good first half as well with a good combination, give and go play. It’s just too bad that the goal …”
Ackerman drifted off wondering what would’ve been if his team was able to keep its 1-0 lead that it had seemingly earned. According to Ackerman, the center ref said it went in but then the side ref determined it wasn’t evident. Then at the end of the game the center ref admitted that it was in.
However, for Roaring Fork it was little solace, much too late.
“That’s just the way it goes,” Ackerman lamented. “There’s nothing you can do.”
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