Demons finish off Tigers in thrilling fashion
Looking to bounce back from a tough loss Tuesday to Steamboat Springs on the road, the Glenwood Springs Demons boys soccer team pulled off a thrilling second-half comeback against the visiting Summit Tigers to pick up a big 5-4 win in 4A Western Slope League play at Stubler Memorial Field.
“It feels really good to get this win,” Glenwood Head Coach Wayne Smith said. “We had hit a rough spot playing Battle Mountain on the road and then turning right back around for a road game with Steamboat on Tuesday. We were frustrated after the game and worked on some stuff, so this feels really good to have the performance that we did tonight.”
Early on the game appeared evenly matched as the Demons and Tigers traded possessions at midfield before Glenwood was able to establish an attack and push into Summit’s end of the field where midfielder Axel Garces was able to make a great run down the right wing before sending a low, line drive cross into the box that was just out of the reach of a sliding Miguel “Papas” Peralta. A few minutes later the Demons were able to build off of the momentum created by Garces’ great run as Glenwood drew a corner kick against the Tigers that midfielder Finlay Roberts was able to bank home for the opening goal of the game at the 13-minute mark.
But the Glenwood lead would be short-lived as Summit players took advantage of three long throw-ins into the box where they were able to deflect shots home for three goals to make it 3-1 Tigers midway through the first half.
Despite trailing by two goals at home before the end of the first half, the Demons roared back quickly as Sebastian Torres found Peralta in the box for the Demons’ second goal of the half, capping off a thrilling first half for both teams. Down 3-2 after 40 minutes of play, the Demons had to make an adjustment defensively, and that started with defending Summit’s long throw-ins into the box that led to three first-half goals.
“We had to make an adjustment on the long throw-ins,” Smith said. “We had to keep their man off our keeper and then try to get the ball and get it quickly and clear it. It’s a tough play to defend and they do it well. Outside of that we needed to get to our game, so we decided to attack and go right after them, which was a little bit of a change from what we’ve done.”
Coming out in the second half, the Demons did just that as the attack really opened up for Glenwood, cultivating in a tremendous free kick from senior defender Forest Walker from roughly 40 yards out that arched perfectly over the Summit goalkeeper’s outstretched hand and into the upper left corner of the net to give the Demons a 4-3 lead late in the second half.
“I was thinking it was going in as soon as he kicked it,” Smith said. “It really reminded me of one that Mason Yellico scored on a few years ago. Forest played a tremendous game tonight. He was really tough and is a tenacious defender as a senior captain. He was the Man of the Match for us tonight. It was just awesome to watch.”
Holding a 4-3 lead late, Garces put pressure on the Summit back line, drawing a penalty in the box. Calm under pressure, the midfielder drilled home the penalty kick just under the crossbar to give the Demons a 5-3 lead. Up two goals with just under nine minutes left in the game, it looked all but over for the Tigers, but a penalty in the box on Glenwood senior defender Alex Trejo set up a penalty shot for Summit forward Gerson Martinez, who tapped it just past the outstretched hand of Glenwood’s Jonny Hernandez to cut the Demons’ lead to 5-4.
But once again Walker stepped up in a big way for Glenwood defensively as the senior cleared away some good runs by Summit late to seal the 5-4 win for Glenwood.
With the win, the Demons improve to 5-5 (3-4 4A WSL) overall on the year. Glenwood sits fifth in the league standings and will travel to Eagle Valley on Tuesday for another key 4A WSL matchup.
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