Demon soccer wins, in four-way tie for first |

Demon soccer wins, in four-way tie for first

Jeff Caspersen
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, Co Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” Once the whistle blew, Glenwood Springs’ players charged midfield, exchanged hugs and jumped in celebration.

And for good reason.

For the second time in three days, the Demons had knocked off a 4A Western Slope League boys soccer stalwart.

With a late goal by Travis Whitman serving as the difference, Glenwood knocked off visiting Steamboat Springs 2-1 and joined the first-place WSL fray with Steamboat, Battle Mountain and Eagle Valley. Each are saddled with just one league defeat.

“Once again, it was a team effort,” Whitman said after being showered with the icy contents of a Gatorade bucket just after the game. “We can’t beat teams like this without the whole team working together.”

It was teammate Fabian Tapia’s free kick that set up Whitman’s game winner, which he converted in the 77th minute.

Tapia forced Steamboat goalkeeper Connor Birch to make a diving stop on his long free kick. Whitman and Ryan Buchanan both lingered in the shadows as the ball bounced away from Birch. Whitman pounced and put home the game winner.

That goal came some 16 minutes after Glenwood’s Sydney Van Horn squared the game at 1 with another goal flavored by perseverance.

Van Horn took a loose ball that had bounced off Whitman’s back and booted the equalizer into an open net with Birch out to defend the play, this all started with a long pass from Tapia.

“Fabian knocked the deep ball and I just followed the play,”

Van Horn, a Panama native who moved to Glenwood Springs this school year after spending the past eight years in Georgia and Louisiana. “It hit Travis in the back and I just took it and shot it.”

It was the second straight come-from-behind win for the Demons, who rebounded from a goal down to top Battle Mountain on Tuesday.

“We just hung tough,” said Glenwood coach John Mount, whose team improved to 5-2 overall and to 4-1 in the 4A WSL. “We were relentless.”

What exactly did the Demons fight back from? An own goal off one of their own defenders’ backs.

It happened 12 minutes into the second half when the Sailors’ Ryan McConnell made a run deep into the right corner and sent a ball toward goal, where it ricocheted off one of three white jerseys into the net.

That bout of misfortune only gave fire to Glenwood’s cause.

“When they scored that first goal, we felt fired up,” Van Horn said.

Steamboat coach Rob Bohlmann, whose team lost for the first time this season and is now 6-1 overall and 3-1 in the 4A WSL, credited Glenwood for fighting back.

“It shows a lot for their character and the depth they have, coming off that big win on Tuesday,” he said. “No. 1, you have to be physically able to come back and, No. 2, emotionally you have to be able to keep it going.”

Bohlmann’s team could have gone down a goal or two in the first half.

Glenwood nearly scored in the 19th minute, when Ryan Young played a well-led forward ball to Ryan Buchanan, who rolled an on-target shot right of Birch, Steamboat’s keeper.

Luckily for the Sailors, defender Blake Reddington alertly slid and swept the ball away as it traveled toward the net.

Just before halftime, the Demons’ Fabian Tapia fired a free kick off the crossbar and straight down.

Steamboat, too, had its chances in the opening half, but Glenwood keeper Kurt Hartmann kept the Sailors off the scoreboard with a series of sprawling stops.

“It was a tight game,” Bohlmann said. “I thought it was played well by both groups. It was one of those games where Glenwood was able to take care of one more chance.”

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