Gore Rangers topple Titans
EAST VAIL – Vail Mountain soccer’s Chris Woods celebrated his 18th birthday by bending it like, er, Chris Woods.The Gore Rangers senior beautifully wrapped a corner kick from the right side into the left panel of Coal Ridge’s net, igniting a 4-1 comeback win against the Titans Saturday at Bandoni Alumni Field.”I saw the keeper. He was playing really deep in the net, and there was nobody in the front of the box,” Woods said. “I decided to put it in. Swear my life on it, I meant to do it.”And with his grandmother in the crowd, we’ll take his word for it. VMS coach Bob Bandoni was pleased with Woods’ poise in that situation.”It’s brilliant technically,” the coach said. “More importantly, it shows such growth in a player. He’s a kid, one of the captains, who reads the situation and calmly engages a rare technical skill to be able to hit a ball that hard, that far with the outside of his foot.”In Bandon-ese, that means, “Good job, Chris.”That seemed to open the floodgates for the Gore Rangers, who trailed after a Fernando Alvarado goal gave the visiting Titans the lead. More importantly, for VMS, this was probably not a game the Gore Rangers (4-0 in the 3A Western Slope and 5-1 overall) would have won last year. “It just shows that our team has a lot of composure,” Woods said. “It seemed like we dealt with a lot of adversity in the first half. We were able to calm ourselves down and play like we practiced.”In the second half, the company line from the VMS bench was that Blake Armstrong was attempting to cross the ball. It turns out his pass/shot went right into the left side of Titans’ net.From there, VMS got much more stylish. Carder Lamb started a beautiful sequence with a pass to Jackson Higgins. Higgins crossed it to his fellow Jackson (Dowell), who headed the ball in for a 3-1 lead. Jens Kjesbo then assisted Tony Ryerson on the final goal of the day. Kjesbo’s pass sprung Ryerson, who headed it over Coal Ridge goalie Skyler James.Coal Ridge (0-3, 1-3) meanwhile was plagued with three yellow cards. Coach Brian Blair was not happy with his team’s lack of discipline.”I took out four of my best players because I’m not going to accept that,” the coach said. “I’m not going to let them play because they’re good (athletes) if they’re going to act like that. (Our) behavior lost the game, not (our) play.”Coal Ridge hosts Basalt Tuesday, while Roaring Fork comes to VMS Thursday at 4 p.m.
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