Glenwood soccer rolls to impressive 9-3 win
In a display of sheer dominance unseen by Glenwood Springs girls soccer in a long time, the Demons rolled to an exhilarating 9-3 win Tuesday night at Stubler Memorial Field over the rival Steamboat Springs Sailors in 4A Western Slope League action, seemingly clinching a playoff spot for the third straight season.
The Demons received four goals from sophomore Tatum Lily, a hat trick from freshman Ella Johnson, and one goal each from junior Zoe Harbour and senior Levyn Thomas as the Demons jumped on the Sailors early and never looked back.
“Before the game, we talked about coming out with intensity and just having fun,” said Demons coach Joe Calabrese. “We’ve had some struggles in front of the net lately, so after that first one went in for us it sort of snowballed from there, and the girls played with a lot of excitement and tons of energy, and that just made the soccer better and elevated the level of play to a level that I’ve never seen it in my four years here.”
Right away, Glenwood had an extra pep in its step as the Demons looked to avenge a 4-3 road loss earlier in the season to the Sailors. Coming out with an intensity level unseen from Calabrese, the Glenwood girls started fast as Johnson struck just under 10 minutes into the game.
At the 9:29 mark of the game, Johnson chipped a shot over the challenging Steamboat Springs goalkeeper, capping off a great run down the left wing off of a great ball played over the top of the Steamboat defense from Thomas for the 1-0 lead. Prior to her opening goal, Johnson had a chance at the 5-minute mark but missed wide right. That led to her changing her tactic, resulting in the opening goal.
“I noticed on my first shot that the goalie was way out,” said Johnson after the win. “From watching a lot of soccer, I see a lot of professional players take that type of shot, so it’s something that I’ve worked on, and I’m glad it paid off in that situation.”
Building off of the momentum, the Demons struck again a minute later as Johnson tracked down another throughball from Thomas that deflected off of a Steamboat defender right into Johnson’s path. After corralling the pass, Johnson slipped a ball to junior Summer McSwain in the middle of the field, where McSwain made a great touch to Johnson in the box. The standout freshman beat the Steamboat keeper to the ball and on a second chance slipped a shot into the net for the 2-0 lead, sending the home crowd into an early frenzy.
The two early goals tilted the field in favor of Glenwood, and the onslaught continued as Lily slid and nearly redirected a shot home, before Harbour made it 3-0 at the 24:00 mark for a 25-yard strike over the leaping Steamboat keeper’s outstretched hands. Lily then got on the board for the Demons with a 30-yard strike of her own at the 27:17 mark to make it 4-0, before Johnson capped off the first-half hat trick with a long run down the left wing, firing a shot inside the near post for the 5-0 lead that carried into halftime after a superb sliding save on a long Steamboat shot by Glenwood sophomore goalkeeper Abby Scruton.
Following the stunning first-half display of dominance, the Demons picked up right where they left off in the first half as Lily struck 3:52 into the second half. Lily received a pass down the right wing from senior Sierra McKinney, before cutting into the box and firing a shot into the far upper right corner of the net past the leaping keeper’s hands to make it 6-0.
Sixteen seconds later Glenwood made it 7-0 as Lily raced in on Steamboat’s keeper, forcing a turnover that she pounced on, sliding baseball-style for a shot on goal that found the back of the net, igniting the home crowd once again as the vintage scoreboard at Stubler Memorial Field read 7-0 Demons.
Steamboat didn’t go away quietly, though, as senior Rachelle Koly fought to keep the Sailors in the game. The senior forward forced a Glenwood turnover deep in its own end, gathered the loose ball in the box and turned and fired a left-footed strike into the upper right corner of the net to make it 7-1 at the 57:44 mark of the game. Then, at the 65:25 mark, Koly scored again, outrunning two Glenwood defenders to slip a shot past Scruton inside the far right post, making it 7-2.
The Sailors appeared to flip the field, but the Demons roared back late with a goal at the 71:59 mark as Thomas flicked a shot past the Steamboat keeper off of a cross into the box from the right wing, making it 8-2.
Senior Delaney Moon scored a highlight-reel-worthy goal with 3:03 left in the game, coming up with a phenomenal touch inside the 18-yard box before firing a left-footed strike into the upper left corner of the net to make it 8-3. For good measure, Glenwood added a goal in stoppage time as senior Sarah Helm — a defensive dynamo in the midfield on the night — fired a great free kick into the box that bounced high, allowing Lily to head home the final goal of the game, giving the Demons a monumental win at home, stretching the program’s winning streak at home to 17 games.
“With the right attitude, I’m confident that the skill on this team can perform like we did tonight against any team in the league,” said Helm. “It was monumental for us tonight; the win got us into the playoffs, and it should give us a lot of confidence and momentum moving forward.”
The win pushes the Demons to 10-4 (9-2 in 4A WSL), seemingly clinching a playoff berth as a top-2 team in the league. The Demons wrap up the 2019 regular season Thursday at home against the Battle Mountain Huskies at 6 p.m.
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