Glenwood Springs sinks Alameda Pirates
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” With an extra spring in each and every player’s step, the entire Glenwood Springs boys soccer team jogged toward the home bleachers at Stubler Memorial Field.
Awaiting them was a raucous home crowd eager to shower praise on the Demons’ achievement.
And for good reason.
For the first time in more than five years, Glenwood Springs had advanced to the round of 16 in the 4A state playoffs.
A 4-0 win over visiting Alameda, a Lakewood school that hadn’t been to the playoffs since 2000, did the trick.
“We knew we could do it,” said junior forward Travis Whitman, who scored two of the Demons’ goals on a frigid Wednesday night in Glenwood Springs. “We knew we were good.”
Whitman was one of several Demon heroes.
Junior Sydney Van Horn scored a goal and assisted on two scores.
Senior Fabian Tapia scored a goal and assisted on another.
Anchored by senior Ryan Young, the Demon defense did its best to diffuse each and every opportunity the Alameda offense created.
Senior goalkeeper Kurt Hartmann let nothing through.
“This was a whole team effort,” lauded Glenwood coach John Mount, whose Demons will travel to face Broomfield at 6 p.m. on Saturday.
Mount watched his team dominate possession and create opportunity after opportunity in the game’s early going.
Eventually, one of those opportunities found its mark.
It was Tapia and Van Horn connecting to break the scoring open in the 24th minute when the former sent a forward pass to the latter in the right flank. With room to run, Van Horn got off a roller that found its way past Alameda keeper Zack Erickson.
“It was a matter of time,” Van Horn said. “We just try to keep the ball and wait until there’s an opening.”
The score stood until just before halftime when Glenwood, now 12-3-1 overall, blew the game wide open with a pair of goals in the final two minutes, scores that altered the complexion of the game and allowed the Demons to play keepaway in the second half.
Whitman and Van Horn teamed up to make it 2-0 when Van Horn found Whitman in the left flat with space to maneuver. The right-footed Whitman fought off a defender and knocked home a left-footed goal.
Less than a minute later, it was Tapia taking a cross from Van Horn and lasering a shot down off the crossbar and past the goal line for a 3-0 intermission advantage.
“That was back-breaking,” said Alameda coach Steve Houwen, whose team finished the season at 10-5. “It felt like a 41⁄2 minute two minutes at the end of the half. It’s tough, but you’ve got to play until they blow the whistle.”
With the pressure all on the visiting Pirates, Glenwood could play it safe in the second half.
And that’s just what they did, though it didn’t’ stop the Demons from adding one more goal.
With Alameda pressing, the Demons added the late tally courtesy of Whitman. Taking a pass from Erik Pena, Whitman rounded out the night’s scoring in the 71st minute.
Some nine minutes later, the Demons were celebrating a long-sought playoff win and eagerly awaiting Broomfield in the second round of playoffs. Broomfield, seeded third in the playoff bracket, knocked Glenwood out of the players in the first round of last year’s postseason.
“Broomfield’s going to see a totally different team than last year,” Mount said. “This is a confident group. It’ll be a good battle. The seniors have been talking about it and, ‘Bring it on,’ is what they’re saying. They know this is a different team than last year.”
DENVER, Colorado ” The No. 2 team in Class 3A, Denver Christian, proved too much for visiting Roaring Fork in the first round of the state playoffs on Wednesday.
Behind two goals apiece from Luke Monsma and Jessie Ham, the Crusaders handed the Rams a 5-1 defeat.
Roaring Fork closed its season with a 6-6-3 overall record.
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This game. This rivalry. This season. It hasn’t meant this much in a long time.