Demons hold on for victory in Rifle |

Demons hold on for victory in Rifle

Jeff CaspersenGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Post Independent/Kara K. Pearson

RIFLE – One half belonged to Glenwood Springs. One half belonged to Rifle.But Glenwood proved more productive in its half.”They were better in the first half and scored two, and we were better in the second half and scored one,” Rifle girls soccer coach Tom Taucher said after a Saturday afternoon clash with the rival Demons. Do the math and it adds up to a 2-1 victory for visiting Glenwood, which improved to 3-2-1 in Class 4A Western Slope League play and 3-3-1 overall.

A lofted cross from the Demons’ Leah Mansfield to Corrina Gibson set up a mid-range goal by the latter to open the scoring midway into the first half.Glenwood kept its momentum rolling with another tally eight minutes later, when Kendall Strautman intercepted a ball deep in Rifle’s zone and dribbled in for a breakaway goal. Bears fill-in goalkeeper Jessica Widmer just managed to get her fingertips on the ball as it sailed over her left shoulder into net.Rifle’s normal starting keeper, Kadie LaRocque, missed her second straight game with a knee injury she suffered during a meeting with Battle Mountain last weekend.Up 2-0, Glenwood appeared on its way to an easy win, but the Bears (2-5 overall and in league) came out determined in the second half, attacking the net with a ferocity unseen in the first half.It took until the waning moments, but Rifle did crack the scoreboard with a little teamwork.

Morgan Patrick, fighting Demon defenders on all sides, used her head to bounce a pass ahead to a streaking Chelsea Webb, who had a clear quarter-field path to the net for the Bears’ only score.Though Glenwood’s defense managed to keep Rifle off the board the final three minutes and stoppage time, Demons coach Linda Flohr had hoped for a better second half.”It was good that we held the lead, but we’re still working on putting two good halves together,” she said.”I think once we get up by a goal or two, we kind of stop a little bit,” Mansfield said. “But we always seem to push ahead at the end.”

Putting behind them a brutal week of battling 4A WSL heavyweights Battle Mountain and Steamboat Springs and ending a two-game skid left Flohr and her girls breathing a sigh of relief.”We needed that,” Flohr said. “We’ve had a long week. We played some great teams. Our goal was to come out here and win.”The Bears, who’ve also had recent dates with Steamboat and Battle Mountain and are in the midst of a four-game losing streak, are still looking to get their season on track.”We’re just looking for improvement, whether we’re playing Steamboat, Battle Mountain, Glenwood or Greeley West,” Taucher said. “We had a lot of positives in that second half, We’ve just got to continue to grow.”On Tuesday, Rifle travels to Coal Ridge, while Glenwood makes a trip to face Palisade.

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