From road warriors to home warriors
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
CARBONDALE, Colorado – Roaring Fork has been a road warrior in the Class 3A boys soccer playoffs in recent years.
On Tuesday, the Rams were home warriors.
Putting three goals on the board in the first half, Roaring Fork held on for a 3-2 win over visiting Bruce Randolph in the opening round of the 32-team state playoffs.
“This is like a dream, to come in and play a state game at home and then winning it,” said Rams senior Sam Carpenter, who scored the game’s first two goals in helping his team to its third straight first-round playoff win.
Last year, Roaring Fork drew the 17th seed and knocked off No. 16 Pagosa Springs, 1-0, in the opening round. Two years ago, the Rams upset No. 7 Kent Denver, 2-1, as the No. 26 seed. Both games were on the road.
This time around, the 15th-seeded Rams (10-5) were the favorites. And they played like it.
With the help of his teammates, Carpenter found net off a throw-in in the 16th minute.
Luis Aguilar took the throw-in. The ball found its way to Allen Garcia, who headed it to Carpenter. From short range, Carpenter went far post.
“[Luis] made a perfect throw,” Roaring Fork coach Aaron Anderson said. “It was like a waterfall. It just flowed. The ball just kind of flowed into the goal.”
Bruce Randolph responded with a goal off a set piece in the 28th minute.
Andres Cervantes directed a free kick over a wall of Rams and right to Ernesto Piedra Jara, who jumped and headed the ball into the net.
It didn’t take long for Carpenter to put Roaring Fork back on top.
Roughly seven minutes later, Tommy Adgate charged deep into the Grizzlies’ zone up the right side and sent a pass to Carpenter, who beat the keeper with a mid-range shot.
Just before the end of the first half, Adgate unleashed a shot from 20-plus yards away that found its mark. Carpenter assisted.
In the 68th minute, Bruce Randolph’s Miguel Gonzalez tightened the count with 25-yard goal off a free kick.
That was as close as the 18th-seeded Grizzlies (10-5-1) would get.
“It was a great second half for us,” Bruce Randolph coach Matthew Fockler said. “We lost a tough game against a really good team. I think they have the potential to do well in what will potentially be a tough match on Saturday.”
A tough match indeed.
On Saturday, the Rams will face No. 2 The Classical Academy, which improved to 15-1 overall with a 6-1 win over Arrupe Jesuit in its first-round game on Tuesday.
“We’re actually excited about playing them,” Anderson said. ‘We like challenges. We want to play against good teams.”
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The Roaring Fork High School baseball team was deadlocked with the visiting Gunnison Cowboys in Carbondale through the final three frames Tuesday, before falling 16-9 in nine innings.