Demons score 2 late first-half goals, hang on for win
On the home stretch of a back-to-back, the Glenwood Springs Demons girls soccer team used a big push late in the first half and early in the second half to create enough breathing room before hanging on for a big 3-2 win Thursday night at Stubler Memorial Field over the visiting Summit Tigers.
One night after beating the Steamboat Springs Sailors on the road in a tough 4A Western Slope League matchup, the Demons returned home Thursday and found themselves locked in a tight battle with the visiting Tigers.
Despite controlling possession for much of the first half and coming close to a goal on four separate occasions, the Demons found themselves in a 1-0 hole as Summit’s Piper Kunst was able to beat Glenwood’s Katrina Thisgaard with a bloop shot after the Demon goalie tried to beat Kunst to a ball in the box.
A mad scramble in front of the net by a host of Glenwood and Summit players nearly resulted in the ball being cleared off the line, but Kunst’s shot had just enough on it to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead with 16:01 left on the clock in the first half.
Following Kunst’s goal, Glenwood answered with a furious rally as senior Nina Scruton fired a shot just over the Summit net, missing the crossbar by mere inches. Five minutes later, Scruton placed a great cross into the box after a strong run down the right wing, but her pass was just out of the reach of junior Eryn Peterson’s reach, skipping harmlessly through the box.
A few possessions later, Glenwood was able to get on the board as senior Carly Shimp, on as a sub at forward, was able to find Peterson streaking down the middle of the field on a great through ball, allowing Peterson — following a misplay by a combination of Summit defenders — to beat the Summit goalie low to the left, tying the game at 1-1 right before the half.
But not to be outdone, Shimp tallied a goal for herself just over 20 seconds later, racing down the right wing before firing a twisting shot on net that slipped right through the Summit goalie’s hands into the back of the net, giving Glenwood a late 2-1 lead.
“That says a lot about the character of the group,” Glenwood Head Coach Joe Calabrese said. “They played for each other and came back under some adversity. When you maintain possession that long and the other team gets one shot and one goal, it’s tough. But the group kind of picked each other up. We had Carly come, and she was really the inspiration for the rest of the group.”
Peterson followed up with a terrific run down the middle of the field, firing a great shot on net that forced the Summit goalie to dive to her left to make a great save, stopping Peterson from making it a 2-goal advantage at the half.
Holding a 2-1 lead at the half, Glenwood would continue to push the pace to start the second half as sophomore Sarah Helm gave the Demons a 3-1 lead just under 12 minutes into the second half following a terrific cross by sophomore Ashley Weir that found Helm’s boot, allowing the sophomore to get off a powerful strike that the Summit goalie couldn’t handle cleanly as she watched the ball trickle across the goal line for the Demons.
With the lead up to 3-1 early in the second half, Glenwood refused to take its foot off the gas as Peterson nearly made it 4-1 as her shot from the right wing hit the far right post, bouncing harmlessly away for Summit.
Following Peterson’s shot off the post, the switch seemed to flip for the Tigers, who picked up the pace and put a ton of pressure on the Demons down the stretch.
Kunst scored her second goal of the game with 17:52 showing on the clock as she beat Thisgaard high from the right wing, placing a shot just out of Thisgaard’s reach to make it 3-2 with more than 17 minutes left in the game.
But the Glenwood defense stood tall despite seeing Thisgaard sent off for a yellow card with just over 10 minutes remaining. Junior Erin Bucchin replaced Thisgaard and withstood a barrage of action by the Summit offense, preserving the one-goal lead before Thisgaard was able to return.
“Our defense is kind of the heart of the team,” Calabrese said. “Everything sort of works out of them, and this was another night where the momentum shifted, but they were able to step up their game and take care of stuff in the back.”
With the win, Glenwood improves to 4-3, 4-2 4A Western Slope League. The Demons will travel to Eagle Valley Tuesday for a matchup with the Devils, who they beat 2-1 on March 16.