Demons take down Rifle Bears
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” With prom just days away, Glenwood Springs girls soccer coach Bryan Stoltzfus admitted that keeping his team’s focus hasn’t been the easiest of tasks in recent days.
“The kids have been talking about their dresses since Monday,” the second-year Demons coach quipped.
On Thursday, though, Stoltzfus saw nothing in the form of issues with focusing from his players, who clamped down and ground out a 3-0 win over visiting Rifle on a cold night under the lights at Stubler Memorial Field.
The wide margin of victory was a welcome sight for Stoltzfus, who saw his team come out flat in a 1-0 win at Delta on Tuesday, a game he thought the Demons, who had numerous unconverted scoring chances, should have won by a wider margin.
“We moved off the ball and our touch was much better,” he said of Thursday’s effort. “We were pushing the ball outside and dropping the ball ” that’s something we weren’t doing in practice. We were pushing the ball back to the 18.”
All those little things added up to a big win for Glenwood, which is now in sole possession of first place in the 4A Western Slope League’s West Division.
Michaela Mansfield kicked off the scoring with a first-half strike, converting a cross from fellow freshman Corey Gera.
Mansfield, playing in her first game against Rifle, enjoyed the rivalry showdown.
“It was exciting,” she said. “We heard they were going to be pretty physical, so we were all getting ready to play them. … They had a good game. They played hard.”
Rifle came out energized to start the second half, but Mariah Martin padded the Demons’ lead with a Hope Whitman-assisted goal midway through.
First-year Bears coach Jennifer DeHamer liked her team’s intensity coming out of the break.
“I have to say the beginning of the second half, for us at least, was incredible,” she relayed. “I just told the girls we came out on fire. We switched some people around. … It was awesome, but somewhere in there it just fell apart a little bit.”
Glenwood’s Bryttnie Evans rounded out the scoring with a sharp roller that found the far corner from outside the 18-yard box in the game’s waning moments. Kenzie Kuhn picked up the assist.
Keepers Shannon O’Gara-Standiford and Anna Wiltse combined on a shutout in net for the Demons, who improved to 6-1-0 overall and to 5-1-0 in league and return to their home pitch Tuesday against Delta.
Rifle, now 4-3-0 overall and 3-2-0 in the 4A WSL, will play host to Grand Junction Central on Saturday.
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Six prep volleyball players from Garfield County schools earned first-team 3A Western Slope League honors.