Demons pin shutout on Rifle
Assistant Sports Editor
RIFLE ” How do you fashion an undefeated record?
To the Glenwood Springs High soccer team, it’s a matter of supporting each other.
“Everyone has to do their part,” said first-year Demons coach Craig Plizga on the 2-0 shutout Glenwood pinned on Rifle Tuesday at Bears Stadium.
The win moved the Demons record to 4-0-0 in the Class 4A Western Slope League and 6-0-0 overall. Rifle fell to 2-1-0 and 4-2-0 after the loss.
“When one guy is on the ball, there’s other guys getting back and supporting them. That’s all we’re doing is supporting each other defensively, then we can go after the ball.”
When it came to going after the ball, Cory McGrath was the most active player on the field.
The Demons senior forward scored the game’s only two goals ” both in the first half. Fittingly, each goal came from a supporting pass from other team members.
Pat Shepard set the wheels in motion that led to McGrath’s first goal, scored in the 16th minute.
“Pat passed the ball to Zack (Stepp). Zack crossed the ball and I just happened to be in the right place. I put my foot on it, and the ball went in,” McGrath explained.
“(Glenwood’s) first goal was kind of a one vs. one battle in our box and they physically won the ball and scored. That was an indication of a lot the game,” said Rifle head coach Tom Taucher.
“Red took it to us and they were the better team for 80 minutes.”
McGrath’s second goal with two minutes left before halftime was a study in teamwork and the Demons’ domination of the offensive zone.
On a cornerkick, McGrath found an open seam in Rifle’s defense to the near post.
While hustling over to the near post, McGrath signaled to Stepp that he was uncovered. Stepp found McGrath, fired a high pass goal-ward, which McGrath finished by heading the ball past Bear goalie Evan Muldoon for a two-goal lead.
“I pointed to Zach, and told him to cross it to me on the corner,” McGrath said. “He put it far post, then I followed it all the way and hit it has hard as I could to the corner.”
Goal scored. Game over.
Thanks to the Demons defense.
“We just played our game ” that was our goal,” Plizga said. “When we play our game, I feel that we can play with anyone in the state. We came in, we played hard. We got the 50-50 balls. It was the best effort we had all season.”
Defensively, the Demons held Rifle to four mild shots on goal while keeping the Bears’ top offensive weapon, Stuart Stapleton, checked all night.
“It looked like (Glenwood) had a couple defenders and midfielders falling back on him,” Taucher said. “The problem was that we weren’t going to the open guy. Stuart would be marked and we still tried to feed him the ball. We knew that teams would do that. And, we knew that we had to go to other sources, and we never mounted a serious scoring opportunity throughout the whole game.”
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The Coal Ridge High boys suffered their first 3A Western Slope League loss of the year Thursday night on the road at Gunnison, falling to the defending league champion Cowboys 65-45.