Quick-strike attack leads Demons to win over Devils
There’s a proverbial switch that the Glenwood Springs Demons girls soccer team sure does know how to flip, offensively, when it wants to.
That was on display quite a bit Tuesday night at Stubler Memorial Field, as the Demons scored a quick goal right before halftime, and then scored two goals in the final eight minutes of action to cap off a 5-2 win over the visiting Eagle Valley Devils in 4A Western Slope League action.
“We just have little mental lapses when we get comfortable, which leads to a goal for the other team,” Glenwood Head Coach Joe Calabrese said following the win. “That goal becomes the spark that snaps us back into focus, and creates the urgency that gives us the goals that we need to get back in control of the game.”
Sophomore forward Natalya Taylor gave the Demons a 1-0 lead late in the first half by knocking home a rebound off of a shot from freshman Tatum Lilly, capping off a long string of chances the Demons had in the Eagle Valley end. Taking a 1-0 lead late in the first half with 8:56 to go until the break, the Demons looked to cruise into the half with a 1-0 lead at home, but the Devils had other ideas.
Just over five minutes after Taylor’s goal to break the game open, Eagle Valley mounted a long run down the middle by senior Sophia Aquilar, who slipped behind the stout Glenwood back line. On the run, Aquilar slipped a rolling shot past diving Glenwood junior goalkeeper Hannah Juul, knotting the game up at 1-1, providing the Devils with some life.
That’s when Glenwood flipped that switch.
Frustrated after giving up a goal due to a mental lapse, the Demons mounted a number of great chances to close the half, led by senior Devan McSwain and junior Sarah Helm, before Helm received a pass in stoppage time from McSwain roughly 20 yards from the goal.
Squaring up to her target, Helm let fly a beautiful, arching shot that beat the leaping Eagle Valley goalkeeper into the top part of the net, giving the Demons a 2-1 lead that they carried into the half.
As has often happened this season, the Demons recharged and regrouped at the half and came out blazing in the second half, pushing their lead to 3-1 quickly, as senior forward Eryn Peterson pounced on a cross into the box from senior Emma Harbour, pounding a shot past Eagle Valley goalkeeper Brennecke Gale, sending the Glenwood sideline into a frenzy.
With a 3-1 lead in hand, Glenwood continued to push offensively, but Gale stood tall in net, stopping a header attempt by McSwain from in close, off of a great cross from sophomore Summer McSwain, while also tipping another long-distance shot from Helm just over the crossbar, keeping the Devils within striking distance down two goals.
As Gale stood tall in goal, the Devils tried to mount scoring chances, but the Glenwood back line of junior Ashley Weir, junior Julia Mulhall, junior Leigh Anne Johnson, sophomore Celia Scruton and senior Claudia Hirons turned the Devils away time and time again, until Aquilar struck again for her second goal of the game, this one with 8:54 left in the game.
Drawing a free kick from 30 yards out, Eagle Valley senior Ginny Osteen fired a well-placed kick on goal that Juul got two hands on, but couldn’t corral it cleanly. Seizing the opening provided by Juul’s misplay, Aquilar leaped and headed home the goal just over the hands of Juul, pulling the Devils to within one goal at 3-2.
Again, Glenwood flipped that switch.
One minute and 18 seconds later, Taylor fired home her second goal of the game for Glenwood, pushing the Demons back in front by two goals at 4-2. Taylor one-timed an outstanding cross into the box from Harbour into the far right corner of the net, past a diving Gale, giving Glenwood ample breathing room once again.
Not done scoring though, Glenwood pushed its lead to 5-2 in stoppage time, as senior reserve Mo Reese came off the bench for the Demons and scored her first career varsity goal, thanks to a great feed into the box from Peterson, capping off Glenwood’s 5-2 win.
“It’s incredible to see Mo score there,” Calabrese said. “She’s a great player for us; the first chance she got tonight, she scored. We were all so happy for her, seeing her score there.”
With the win, Glenwood — which sits at No. 1 in the 4A RPI ranking — improves to 5-1 on the season. The Demons will travel to Palisade Thursday afternoon for a matchup with the Bulldogs.