Demons nearly underestimate Bulldogs
Post Independent Staff
Coming to the sidelines Tuesday after Glenwood Springs’ 1-0 win over Palisade, Pat Waller said he didn’t want to play in a game like that again.
Neither would the rest of the Demons.
Senior Abraham Saavedra allowed Glenwood (3-0 league, 5-0 overall) to save face and retain their unbeaten record when he punched a penalty kick to the high far outside corner in the 76th minute for the game-winner.
“We definitely underestimated these guys,” said Demons coach Craig Plizga. “At Wednesday’s practice they were lighthearted, and that continued into our pre-game warm-up. We had heard they were much improved from last year, but they just remembered beating them 4-0.”
Glenwood took their laid-back attitude toward the Bulldogs on the field with them into the first half. And despite getting strong offensive penetration in the first 40 minutes, the Demons couldn’t find the net.
Saavedra worked his way inside the penalty area, got a feed from Cory McGrath in the 6th minute and then shot the ball over the crossbar.
McGrath had his share of miseries as well. He barely missed the far post with one drive in the 15th minute. Then misfired high and wide on a penalty kick eight minutes later after Palisade defender Chad Bauman shoved the Demon forward in the penalty box.
“When Cory missed (the penalty kick) I felt the game was still early, and we would win,” Plizga said. “At the time I wasn’t too worried about it.”
What worried Glenwood’s first-year coach most was the Demons’ play.
“I thought (Palisade) outplayed us in the first half,” said Plizga. “I told the team at halftime, this is the first time we have not won 50-50 balls, the first time we have not scored first, and the first time we were outplayed. So I said we would win the game and we would score.
Plizga was right. But it took longer than he or the Demons expected.
Saavedra and McGrath intensified the offensive pressure but suffered near-misses and were continually turned away by Palisade keeper Chris Martin, who made 12 saves in the contest.
McGrath bonked the post with a header; he later had a well-developed solo run quashed by Martin from the right side.
Waller’s sliding tackle broke up a developing Palisade scoring attempt to the left side of the goalie box in the 68th minute to keep the game scoreless. Jandreau missed a penalty kick by inches with four minutes left.
“When they missed it, I was relieved because I was scared we might lose this one,” Plizga said.
Less than minute later, the Demons received their second penalty kick of the game, a kick Saavedra was determined to make.
“We kept fighting and kept fighting and the ball bounced our way,” said Plizga.
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The Glenwood Springs High School girls swim and dive team capped an undefeated season over the weekend, winning the Southwest Conference finals in dominating fashion.