Roaring Fork nets 3-2 win over Rangely |

Roaring Fork nets 3-2 win over Rangely

Jeff Caspersen
Glenwood Springs Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

CARBONDALE, Colorado ” Shawn Clapper was just trying to get a foot on the ball. Instead, she scored the game-winning goal.

With 7 minutes and 35 seconds left in Saturday’s girls soccer game with visiting Rangely, the Roaring Fork defender drained a one-hop goal from midfield to vault her Rams to a 3-2 win over the Panthers.

“I didn’t really try to shoot for the goal,” the junior said. “I was just trying to kick it to a teammate.”

Instead, the ball lofted high into the air, bounced directly in front and then high over the head of Rangely goalkeeper Hillary Hayes, and then carved a path to the net.

The fortuitous hop broke a 2-all tie and avoided overtime on a sunny afternoon in the Roaring Fork Valley.

More importantly, it helped wash away memories of what was a difficult-to-swallow 4-2 loss at Coal Ridge on Thursday.

“It was nice to get one,” Roaring Fork coach Brad Zeigel said. “That Coal Ridge game was a real tough-fought game. It was nice to see the girls were still focused and able to play hard.”

Zeigel’s Rams did, in fact, flash a steely resolve, twice rallying from single-goal deficits ” both times in opportunistic fashion and courtesy of junior Kathy Vega.

Rangely took an early 1-0 lead on a Megan Miller-assisted goal by Hannah Walz 5:55 into the contest and, it took a while, but Roaring Fork scrapped back to square things when Vega jumped on a cross from sophomore teammate Maggy Morales and jammed home a goal.

The pass actually tipped off the keeper’s hand and right to Vega, who scored her first of two goals on the day just over 26 minutes into the opening half.

“She’s got a terrific left-footed shot,” Zeigel said of his forward. “It’s nice to have that. There aren’t that many left feet out there.”

The sequence leading up to Morales’ pass caught the coach’s eye as well.

“She about broke the ankles of that defender to get Kathy the ball,” he said.

It wasn’t until 6:50 into the second half that the score changed. Rangely’s Tori Slagle did the damage, pouncing on a rebound with Roaring Fork goalkeeper briefly grounded after an incidental collision with a Panther.

The host Rams wasted very little time responding as Vega wasn’t done. Three minutes after Rangely grabbed the lead, the junior leveled it with a line-drive shot on net.

And Clapper took it from there as Roaring Fork improved to 4-8 overall and to 3-8 in the 3A Western Slope League.

Rangely dropped to 5-4 both overall and in league after Saturday’s loss, which followed a 5-0 Friday win at Carbondale’s Colorado Rocky Mountain School.

“Today, we came out fighting like we usually do,” Panthers coach Kris Denny said.

“Roaring Fork has a good squad. They started to pick it up.”

The game’s progression mirrored the Rams’ season. After a slow start, Roaring Fork has now won two of its last three games.

“We’ve really come together as a great team,” Vega said. “We’ve definitely improved on our communication.”

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