Glenwood tops Coal Ridge in snow-filled affair
Making the 18-mile trek on I-70 west to New Castle Tuesday afternoon for a dreary, snow-filled nonleague matchup with the Coal Ridge Titans, the Glenwood Springs Demons girls soccer team started fast in frigid temperatures, leading to a 9-1 win over the host Titans at The Pasture at Coal Ridge High School.
Senior forward Eryn Peterson scored three goals on the day, while sophomore Natalya Taylor and junior Levyn Thomas scored two goals each to pace a Demon attack that didn’t seem to have issues with the slick field and less-than-desirable conditions.
“Those [the elements] are things we don’t control,” Glenwood Head Coach Joe Calabrese said following the win. “What we do control is the pace in which we play, and the combinations to goal that we’ve worked on. It worked well today and they played well. They came out really strong and played fantastic. It was up to them to come out and control the pace, and they set that in the first ten minutes.”
Thomas started the scoring on the day for the Demons just over four minutes into the match, as the junior received a pass from junior defender Ashley Weir following a corner kick for Glenwood, before slotting home the shot, giving Thomas her first goal of the season, and the Demons a 1-0 lead.
Following Thomas’ goal, the Titans struggled to get going at both ends of the pitch, as the Demons stretched their lead to 2-0 just over two minutes later, as Thomas struck again — this time from 20 yards out, to make it 2-0. Thomas took a feed on the left wing and cut in towards the middle of the Coal Ridge defense, stopping and firing a shot from outside the box that grazed the hands of the Coal Ridge keeper and found its way into the back of the net for the 2-0 Glenwood lead.
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“That’s fantastic for her, especially with the confidence,” Calabrese said. “For a girl like Levyn, who might be the third or fourth player involved in a build-up to a goal, to have two excellent goals like she had today, was great to see. It will build her confidence moving forward.”
Keeping up the pressure, Glenwood nearly made it 3-0 just 10 minutes into the first half, but a big save in the box off of a Peterson shot by Coal Ridge junior Annie Esgar kept the Demons at bay. Peterson kept at it though, capitalizing on a Coal Ridge turnover to make it 3-0 at the 28:17 mark of the first half, as the senior slipped in behind the Titans’ back line, slipping a shot past the diving keeper to the far right post and in.
Minutes later, Peterson made it 4-0 Glenwood,running through the Coal Ridge back line to beat substitute goalkeeper Lyanna Navarez, giving her two goals on the day.
Glenwood continued to buzz throughout the rest of the first half, but Navarez stood tall in goal, while senior defenders Paige Harlow and Santana Martinez found their footing for the Titans, turning the Demon attack away time and time again down the stretch, allowing the Titans to get into the half trailing 4-0 at home.
Looking to regroup at the half, Coal Ridge came out blazing in the first five minutes of the second half, as freshman Libby Tharp, junior Alyssa Wenzel, and senior Emily Wright put together nice runs for the Titans, applying pressure to the Demons’ back line, but the Titans weren’t able to mount a consistent attack against a stout Glenwood defense, led by senior Devan McSwain, and juniors Leigh Anne Johnson and Julia Mulhall.
Despite putting together a number of good runs, deflation ate at the Titans, as Glenwood made it a 5-0 game eight minutes into the second half, as Taylor received a great through ball from freshman Tatum Lilly and beat Navarez with a shot low to the keeper’s left.
The Titans continued to battle in the elements, but the Demons’ attack proved to be too quick, too effective and too efficient, as Lilly got on the board for the Demons with a terrific shot off of a cross, one-timing the ball into the back of the net, making it a 6-0 game.
“I think they just hustled more than we did,” Coal Ridge Head Coach Damon Martinez said. “I don’t think the weather was a factor for us, honestly. They just came ready to play, and we didn’t. Fortunately it wasn’t a league game, so we can bounce back from this and keep playing tight games.”
Taylor stretched the lead to 7-0 against the short-handed Titans, but Coal Ridge continued to fight through the deficit and the elements, as Tharp fired a shot from 30 yards out that beat the Glenwood goalkeeper, who was playing high off her line, getting the Titans on the board.
Coal Ridge nearly scored a second goal, as Wright took a great feed from senior Sam Dunn and fired a shot from distance on goal, but freshman goalkeeper Abby Scruton stood up to the challenge, shutting down any scoring opportunity that Titans could have mounted on the sequence.
Peterson then capped off the win with a goal of her own, before setting up an own-goal by the Titans, finishing off the 9-1 win over the Titans in nonleague action.
Glenwood (6-2, 5-2 4A WSL) will take on Rifle Thursday afternoon at Rifle High School, while Coal Ridge (2-5-2, 1-0-2 3A WSL) will travel to Carbondale Saturday for a nonleague game against the Colorado Rocky Mountain School Oysters at 8:30 a.m.
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It was a first for Glenwood Springs and the Colorado Mountain College Spring Valley campus, which played host Saturday to a high school girls rugby match.