Depleted Bears can’t hang with Devils |

Depleted Bears can’t hang with Devils

Ian CroppVail CorrespondentGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

GYPSUM – Down a trio of starters, the Rifle soccer team had its hands full Tuesday night in Gypsum against Eagle Valley.”It was kind of the perfect storm of things that worked against us,” said Bears head coach Mark Knighton. “But Eagle Valley played well. They are creative and played quick.”The Devils scored two goals in each half to earn a 4-0 win under the lights.”I’d feel better if three of their goals didn’t hit our keeper,” Knighton said. Despite letting in four goals, Rifle keeper Anthony Bracamontes made a handful of tough saves throughout the game to keep Eagle Valley from tallying more.”You know these games are going to happen,” Knighton said. “You look at the positives. We had some kids who played and didn’t play badly. Jumping from kind of a U15 (age team) to a kind of U19 is a big jump. It’s kind of one of those games where we said we learned something. We found out where our hearts were.”Late in the game, the Bears put pressure on the Devils but couldn’t crack Eagle Valley goalie Trevor Grayson.”I’m proud of how they responded,” Knighton said. “Even down four late in the game, they are still trying to dig balls out of the corner and were marking hard.”Rifle’s best chances came on a penalty kick, but Grayson punched away Evan Muldoon’s hard shot. Minutes later, Rifle had another chance in the box, but Grayson was up to the task again.”I look forward to hosting these guys and seeing if having our full squad makes a difference,” Knighton said.For Eagle Valley (1-4-1 Class 4A Western Slope League, 1-6-1 overall) Cesar Castillo had two goals, one on a free kick, while Luis Corral and David Shea also scored.Rifle (1-2-1 WSL, 2-4-1 overall) will be back on the field on Thursday when it will host rival Glenwood at 4 p.m.

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