RFSL edges past CMC Eagles for hard-fought win
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, Colorado CO
SPRING VALLEY, Colorado ” In a game that featured nine yellow cards, three players discharged and five goals, the action between Colorado Mountain College and Roaring Fork Select (RFSL) was as intense as those figures would indicate.
Playing with nine men for a little over half an hour, RFSL was able to overcome the disadvantage as well as an early 1-0 deficit to defeat CMC 3-2 on Friday night.
The game began with RFSL fielding just 10 players before some late arrivals gave them 11 plus one substitute. For five minutes the Eagles had an advantage that they weren’t able to take advantage of. The Eagles played very well through the early going as both teams battled back and forth with RFSL holding the 13-11 shots-on-goal advantage.
After Salvador Cruz deposited a corner kick past RFSL’s keeper to give the Eagles a 1-0 lead 12 minutes in, the intensity of the game increased. The first yellow card of the night was handed out to a RFSL player a little over 20 minutes in and just a few minutes later after battling with an Eagles player for a ball in the air, the same player was given his second yellow card and was sent off.
The two calls set the tone for what would become a very tightly refereed contest.
“I don’t mind a ref giving cards early in the game to get control of the game,” said Colorado Mountain College assistant coach John Inglehart filling in for head coach Steve White who remains on a medical leave of absence. “However, I also like to see the refs letting the guys play. You hate to see refs influence the play by giving out cards like that.”
Rather than tone down the intensity or play a defensive-minded game from that point, going a man down seemed to spark the RFSL Select squad. Throughout the game, their speed and aggressiveness consistently beat the Eagles defense giving them excellent scoring chances. They finally broke through in the 33rd minute when a well-placed free kick that split the Eagles’ back line was used to find the net from about five yards out.
The goal tied the score at 1, which is how the game stood as the first half came to an end. RFSL had a great opportunity to take the lead at the half when they were awarded a penalty kick late due to a foul in the box but Eagles’ keeper Dustin Weilbach came up with a tremendous save to keep the game tied.
The game became even more chippy as the second half got under way. Within 15 minutes of play, another three yellow cards are handed out, leaving RFSL with nine players.
The Eagles started controlling the possession and came close to taking the lead on numerous occasions but perhaps none closer than when Nick Carton ricocheted a free kick off the cross-bar from 45 yards out. Their failure to capitalize though, kept RFSL positive and they capitalized where the Eagles did not. RFSL took a 2-1 lead in the 70th minute.
CMC answered right back, however, with their own goal two minutes later as Jesse Lamb took a nicely placed cross amid a group of his teammates in front of the goal box and hammered it in the corner of the net.
The big break in the game came in the 85th minute when a CMC player’s pass hit the referee’s back and ricocheted backwards toward the CMC end of the field. RFSL pounced on the opportunity as their midfielder took control and sent yet another deep ball into the CMC zone where a player( staying on-side by inches) took it in stride, pump-faked a hard-charging Weilbach and drilled the ball into the net.
“I think we’re improving, we played pretty well,” Inglehart said. “It’s disappointing to not get the win. It was a hard-fought game and I’m proud of our guys. You know, the season’s still early and I think we’re making some good progress.”
Editor’s Note: Players’ names and roster numbers were not available during or after the game for the Roaring Fork Select team.
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