Roaring Fork soccer battles Delta to 1-1 league tie
After battling each other in two 10-minute extra time sessions, the Roaring Fork Rams and the visiting Delta Panthers had to settle for a 1-1 tie in a Western Slope League contest Tuesday evening in Carbondale.
The lone Roaring Fork goal of the game came at the 20:53 mark of the first half when junior Lily Nichols was able to get a shot past Panther goalkeeper Tayler Philman to put the Rams on top and get the early momentum swinging in their favor.
Nichols’ score came just following a nice stop of a high shot on goal by Delta’s Makayla Mills. Ram keeper Odalis Corcuera was able to jump high enough to stop the momentum of the floating kick by Mills, before cradling the ball into her arms to halt the Panther scoring threat.
As the windy and chilly spring afternoon wore on, the game became increasingly physical, as both girls in Delta green and Roaring Fork white started knocking each other around and hitting the turf on a regular basis.
The Rams played a stingy style of defense in the first half as they kept the Panthers from getting a tally on the scoreboard, but several scoring opportunities went by the wayside as Angie Morales, Lux Andrade and Camilla Wikum all had shots on goal turned away by Delta’s Philman. Ram standout freshman Emily Broadhurst helped to set up many of the Roaring Fork scoring opportunities as her ball-handling and passing skills found open teammates, and kept the Panthers on their heels for most of the game.
“Our defense is solid,” said Roaring Fork Head Coach Nick Forbes. “We’re trying to be a bit more efficient going forward and balance our play to become better offensively.”
The Panthers’ tying goal came in the second half as a corner kick found Mills in front of the Roaring Fork net, and she promptly put a header past Corcuera to knot the score with 25:01 left in regulation.
The hotly contested game continued back and forth with both teams mounting scoring threats as time began to be a factor. Wikum came close to giving the Rams the lead as she was able to maneuver the ball within striking distance of the Panthers’ goal, but Philman slid and knocked the ball away to thwart the Roaring Fork hopes. With 9:47 showing on the clock, the Delta defense had a momentary lapse as Morales was able to slip free for a straight-on shot, but the kick attempt was right at Philman, who made an easy catch as extra time became inevitable.
The Rams had their best chance to end things and get the victory at 6:06 of the first extra time session as Andrade was awarded a penalty kick, and a golden opportunity to send her team out of the frigid early evening air and into the heated confines of the locker room with a win. Unfortunately for the Rams, Andrade’s solid shot sailed just left of the Panther goal, and the game would end in a deadlock.
Roaring Fork, now 2-3-1 overall and 1-2-1 WSL, has been a busy team since the end of spring break, having played three games each of the last two weeks. Coach Forbes feels the hectic game schedule may have his Rams a bit tired at this point.
“The kids may be a little tired. We’ve played a game every other day since spring break. It’s getting us in good shape though,” said Forbes.
Roaring Fork will get a few days to rest before resuming conference play this coming Saturday at home against the Grand Valley Cardinals.