Rifle nets 1-0 overtime victory | PostIndependent.com

Rifle nets 1-0 overtime victory

Post Independent/Kara K. Pearson

RIFLE ” Caitlin Clay has developed the knack to be in the right place at the right time on the soccer field. So it was easy to figure the Rifle High freshman would be involved in the play that earned the Bears a 1-0 overtime win in Thursday’s Western Slope League game with Moffat County.

“There were three of us up front when Chelsea Webb crossed the ball,” said Clay of the action inside the penalty area after Webb’s cornerkick. “It was kind of like ping-pong, the defender pushed the ball back in, and we just crashed forward and I just had a smooth hit (at the ball) and I nailed it right in.”

The victory raised Rifle’s league and overall record to 2-1-1. Moffat is 0-2-0 this season.

As the ball crossed the line, Clay’s goal broke 82 scoreless minutes between the two teams. It was the type of game Rifle coach Tom Taucher predicted.

“We kind of called it on the sideline ” it would be a one-goal game,” he said.

Taucher was right.

Rifle had a chance to take an early lead in the second minute of the contest, but Webb hit the left corner of the crossbar on a free kick. The same thing occurred later when the Bears’ sophomore hit the bar with a shot headed toward the far corner with four minutes left in regulation.

Though it took Rifle’s offense to create the opportunity to win, Taucher credited the Bears’ defense for holding the fort.

“Our defense ” Kendra Mugford, Leah Feeley and Mindy Gonzales ” were fabulous,” the coach said. “They, along with our midfielders, played sound defense today.”

The midfield foursome of Chelsea Nepp, Lauren Schubert, Kelly Mugford and Morgan Patrick also did a nice job of transitioning from defense to offense Taucher added.

“That was a key for us. That got us the cornerkick,” he said. “And anytime you get a cornerkick, that’s positive.”

Another positive the Bears had going for them was the solid play of goalkeeper Kadie LaRocque. The senior stopped all eight of Moffat County’s shots on goal, including a save on the Bulldogs’ Jessica Uecker’s penalty kick in the 25th minute after a Rifle hand-ball in the penalty box.

“The ball was shot right at her, so all Kadie had to do was hold it,” said Taucher. (Uecker) hit it real hard, she held it and there was no rebound. It wasn’t a momentum-swinging thing, because we had pretty good momentum throughout the game. But obviously it was a big stop and it kept the game at 0-0.”

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