Demons pull away from Lobos in nonleague game
Following a pregame ceremony to honor 23-year veteran high school soccer official Dennis Zwickl, the Glenwood Demons continued their winning ways by posting a 3-1 victory over the Conifer Lobos on Saturday morning at Stubler Memorial Field.
The Demons and the Lobos, both entering the game with identical 8-4 records, jousted back and forth in the early going of the chilly April contest, as the ball spent equal amounts of time on both sides of the field.
Glenwood’s first realistic threat to break the early scoreless tie came when sophomore Sarah Helm launched a shot at the north goal that sailed over the head of Conifer goal keeper Alaina Avery and just over the top of the crossbar.
Three minutes later, at the 25:42 juncture of the first half, Demon senior Nina Scruton broke the game’s deadlock when she rippled the back of the Lobo’s net on a lengthy, precisely-placed boot from the center of the field to put Glenwood up 1-0.
Conifer responded quickly to Glenwood’s entry on the scoreboard when junior Isabelle Arnold bounced a shot toward the Demon’s goal.
Glenwood keeper Katrine Thisgaard was in perfect position though, as she easily scooped the ball off the ground to preserve the Demon lead early in the game.
Glenwood’s offense, which resembles a basketball-style fast-break with full-court pressure, struck again when Helm took a centering pass from Mae Lang Burns and caught Avery leaning in the wrong direction as the Demons now owned a 2-0 cushion.
The Lobos, from the Denver Jeffco League, got things closer with 7:32 showing on the clock prior to halftime as Thisgaard misplayed a ball near the Demon net, and Arnold was able to slip her shot into the corner of the Glenwood goal to pull Conifer within 2-1 at the break.
The frigid air, better suited to penguins, had no apparent cooling affect on the Demons in the second half of play as they continued their relentless assault on the Conifer goal.
With just five minutes gone in the game’s final chapter, freshman Natalya Taylor smacked a near miss on the south goal. It was then Taylor again, as she fed Helm a pass in front of the Lobo net that was nicely turned away by Lobo keeper Avery.
Not backing off one little bit, Glenwood, behind the ball-handling of the hustling Ashley Weir, and the defense of Celia Scruton and Leigh Anne Johnson, got it’s insurance goal when Helm rifled a header into the Lobo net following a corner pass from teammate Devan McSwain to put the Demons up for good at 3-1.
Glenwood Head Coach Joe Calabrese knew coming in that his team was up against a quality opponent from the front range, and he was very impressed with how his Demons responded.
“I’m very pleased with this result,” said Calabrese. “There were several moments of excellent soccer out of the girls.”
Just seconds prior to the final whistle of the game, Glenwood’s Carly Shimp narrowly missed giving her team a fourth score, as her shot on goal missed by just a whisker when it hit the side post and bounced away as the game came to its conclusion.
For the Demons (9-4 overall, 7-3 WSL) two crucial Western Slope League games await them on the road next week at Summit on Tuesday and at Rifle on Thursday.
A couple of victories would go a long way toward cementing Glenwood’s place in the state 4A soccer playoffs, and a possible home game in the first round of the tourney.
“What’s most important for us is just taking care of business next week. Our focus this year has always been on making the playoffs,” said Calabrese.
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