No. 9 too much for Bears |

No. 9 too much for Bears

Post Independent/Kelley Cox

RIFLE – Number nine was the difference.Rifle High soccer coach Tom Taucher didn’t know who Ceasar Castillo was except for his jersey number. And, after watching the Eagle Valley sophomore score four goals in Tuesday’s 6-4 loss, he’s happy that he won’t see him for a while.”We had the performance. We just didn’t have an answer for Number 9,” Taucher said. “Unfortunately we just couldn’t contain him. It was one of those nights everything he touched went in.””(Castillo) was the only player who stepped up for us tonight,” said Eagle Valley coach Chad Sloniker. “I was telling the Rifle coach I wish I had 10 other players to join his intensity and want to play the game like he does.”Castillo’s play took the gloss off a fine effort by Rifle and Graham Riddile’s career day, whose first three touches in the first half all resulted in goals.

Riddile popped his first goal – the first of his varsity career – to the lower left corner in the 13th minute. It tied the game at 1-all after a goal earlier in the half when Sage Smith beat Rifle keeper Brandon Borgard to the far post by redirecting Kyle Simonette’s pass to the opposite side of the net.Then No. 9 took over.Castillo zoomed past a Rifle defender on a 1-on-1 break down the right side for a goal to the lower left corner to put Eagle Valley ahead.Enter Riddile.Intercepting a ball inside the penalty area, he fired and hit the netting for his second goal with 14 minutes left in the first half for another tie.Castillo erased the 2-2 deadlock with a 25-yarder from the right side with three minutes to go for the Devils’ third lead of the game.

An Eagle Valley foul in the penalty area in the waning moments of the half gave Rifle a penalty kick. The way he was going, who else but Riddile would take the shot?Naturally, he scored. Naturally, it tied the game again.When the teams resumed play after intermission, Riddile appeared to give the Bears their first lead. His shot, which glanced off Devils’ goalie Trevor Grayson, didn’t have enough oomph to cross the goal line. Beaten on the original shot, Grayson recorded his biggest save when he dove back across the box in time to grab the ball.In the 57th minute, Castillo, now marked by at least two – and as many as four – Bear defenders, got open, then blasted a laser from 25 yards out which Borgard could barely see – much less make a play on.Rifle, despite Eagle Valley’s one-man show, rallied again.

Mario Ortega knotted the game at 4-all with an unassisted score with 12 minutes left in the game. It took the weakest shot Eagle Valley had all night to finally polish the Bears off.Following up a play to the far left post, sophomore Gilberto Martinez scraped a loose ball with his right foot. The ball evaded Borgard and slipped inside the mesh.Ahead 5-4 with nine minutes remaining, Castillo iced the game inside the two-minute mark.The defeat, however, failed to dampen Taucher’s feeling about his team.”We played really well, and we had plenty of chances,” he said. “Our goal is still the playoffs. We can play with anybody.”

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