Glenwood tops Rifle in second overtime
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” Playing her favorite game for the last time on her home field, it was only fitting that Glenwood Springs senior Chelsea Vallario arose as the hero of the day.
Vallario cashed in on a Breanna Richardson pass from midfield with less than two minutes to go in the second overtime period on Saturday for a game-winning goal that propelled the Demons over Rifle for a 2-1 victory in the storied rivalry.
“It was an intense game. No matter if we have skills, speed, whatever, against Rifle, every game, every year, we are always equal and I love it. It is my favorite game,” Vallario said. “We are excited. I love playing against Chelsea Webb. She is a great player, and [it’s] a great game.”
Knowing she had nothing to lose, Vallario saw Richardson’s pass and went for it. As Demon head coach Bryan Stoltzfus watched the ball roll into the far side of the Bears’ goal, he figured it was about time one of Vallario’s shots found the back of the net.
“Chelsea probably had eight shots on goal, maybe more ” great opportunities,” he said. “We needed this one. We fought hard and hopefully this builds character for the rest of the season.”
Prior to overtime, Glenwood went up 1-0 early on a Nikki Pearson goal. It didn’t last too long, however, as Caitlin Clay scored for the Bears to knot the game at one.
“I thought when we scored that we got a jump in energy,” said Rifle head coach Mark Knighton. “I thought we might get another one … and then that jump kinda came and went.”
The tie held through regulation and the first overtime period despite two good chances by the Demons in the first five minutes of OT. Then came Vallario’s goal that moved Glenwood to 2-2 overall and 2-1 in the Class 4A Western Slope League. Rifle fell to 2-3-1 overall and the WSL.
“We hate losing to Glenwood. It would have been sweet to take one from them on their home field,” Knighton said. “When we see them at home, hopefully we will be a little bit stronger.”
Neither coach was too impressed with his team’s play, both saying their girls played flat. For Rifle, it was the Bears third game in six days and there are only 11 girls on the team, sometimes 12 if Knighton moves one up from junior varsity.
“We don’t have a very long bench so basically all the girls played all 80 (minutes) of all games. The will was there, the heart was there, the legs just were not,” Knighton said. “Their play is really good. Even today the ideas are good. We were just slow getting to the ball.”
The Demons and Bears will see each other again in Rifle on April 30. In the more immediate future, Glenwood will travel to Battle Mountain on Tuesday, while Rifle will host 3A Coal Ridge on Tuesday.
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The Coal Ridge High School boys and girls basketball teams will both be home Tuesday night to open the Class 3A state basketball tournament.