Demon soccer team two-steps to two wins
The first step was a big one.
But the second was even bigger, given the soccer circumstances.
The Glenwood Springs girls stepped up after an emotional win over Steamboat Springs on Friday night with a methodical victory over Battle Mountain on Saturday afternoon in a pair of home-field matches.
The twin wins, including Saturday’s letdown-denying victory over the Huskies, kept the Demons alone atop the 4A Western Slope League with a 4-0-0 record, 5-1-0 overall.
While Friday night’s hard-fought 2-0 win over the Steamboat girls boosted their confidence, it didn’t leave them complacent less than 24 hours later when they hosted the Huskies at Stubler Memorial Field.
A stirring rendition of “American the Beautiful,” billed, alas, as the National Anthem, broke the prematch tension on Saturday, with both teams struggling to stifle giggles at the star-spanged faux pas.
But the giggling stopped when the match started.
The aggressive Demons attacked relentlessly in the opening minutes, with three shots on goal in the first nine minutes and two more shots before the midway mark of the opening half.
By halftime, the Demons led 3-0, including Brieanne Rippy’s timely goal right at the first-half buzzer.
The scoring started for the Demons on a Chelsea Strautman curler inside the near post after a corner-kick scramble. She was assisted by a handful of Demons on the first goal, with 24:19 to play in the half.
The lead remained 1-0 until 1:40 remained in the half. Then the Demons struck twice.
Sarah Cunningham served up a corner-kick assist on the second Demon goal, a shot which Strautman volleyed into the open Battle Mountain net, far side.
The corner-kick goal came on the Demons’ 10th shot of the match and it produced Strautman’s second goal of the match.
After Rippy’s half-ending goal for the Demons, Battle Mountain cut the lead to 3-1 on the first shot of the second half.
Kelly Casber ripped a high, left-footed shot from 20 meters out, soaring up and into the Demon net.
The 3-1 Demon lead held through the second half, despite a strong shot from Cassie Carlson that was just batted away by Battle Mountain goalkeeper Killion Hunn as time ran out.
A spirited match on Friday night set up the key Saturday win Before an appreciative crowd, the Glenwood and Steamboat girls played an entertaining, energetic match, following their tradition of recent seasons.
The well-played contest included an emotionally uplifting first-half goal by Rebecca Lundin on a cross from Cassie Carlson in the 15th minute. Lundin timed the shot and then rolled over Steamboat goalkeeper Kelly Asbury.
A second-half goal by Strautman, with just 15 minutes remaining, virtually closed the deal in the Demons 2-0 league win over Steamboat.
The Sailors were nearly at full strength after playing the first of the season with a short roster. All-conference player of the year Lia Utu returned for most of the match against the Demons, coming back from a severe ankle sprain.
The senior has already signed to play at Regis University in Denver next year.
The Demons, in extending their winning streak, used a variety of roster combinations including the likes of Heidi Wild, Shannon Smiley, Ashley Jentzsch, Abby Willman, Brittney Rippy, Amy Ackerman, Heather Hert and Ella McReynolds.
Keegan Nadon, with a pair of crucial second-half saves, picked up the shutout win in goal for the Demons against Steamboat.
On Saturday, Nadon and Kelci Barnes spit time in goal with Nadon handling the first half and Barnes the second.
The Glenwood Springs girls are scheduled to play a nonconference match at Aspen on Tuesday (4 p.m. varsity). And the Demons will host Rifle in a 4A Western Slope League match on Thursday, 6 p.m. varsity.
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Playing on the road at Cedaredge Tuesday, the Coal Ridge High School volleyball team scored a tough win in five sets, 3-2, over the Bruins.