Sailors pull away from Demons in wild second half
A four-minute scoring burst midway through the second half by the Steamboat Springs Sailors and the Glenwood Springs Demons was largely the story of the match at Stubler Memorial Field on Thursday as the Sailors used four second half goals to pull away for a 4-1 win.
“They’re a good team, and they took advantage of our mistakes,” Glenwood Head Coach Wayne Smith said. “We had some opportunities, and at the end of the day we couldn’t get our balls to go into the net, and I think that’s the story of game; everything really happened in those four minutes.”
Following a tight, intense first half that was evenly matched throughout, the Demons and Sailors simply couldn’t find the back of the net due to strong play in net for both sides.
Glenwood goalkeeper Jonny Hernandez, making his first varsity start for Glenwood, came up with some big saves early on, while his Steamboat counterpart, Andrew McCawley, was just as strong in net.
With Hernandez keeping the Demons in the game early on, the Glenwood offense was able to settle down and start putting some runs together as Clayton Horning and Miguel “Papas” Peralta really turned it on offensively.
Midway through the first half, midfielder Axel Garces made a great pass ahead to Horning streaking down the right sideline. With the ball at his feet and a defender closing in, Horning stopped quickly just inside the penalty area and let a shot fly on net. As the shot arched high towards the upper left corner of the net, McCawley was able to stretch out and tip the ball just wide, keeping the score locked at 0-0.
“I thought our game plan really worked in the first half,” Smith said. “We just couldn’t convert and finish. We were a bit unlucky, to be honest. We had our opportunities, and you have to put those in the net. Those are things we’re going to be working on. We always look forward to playing Steamboat; they’re always one of the best teams in our league, but I don’t think the score tells the whole story of the game.”
Tied up at 0-0 to start the second half, the pace of the game really started to pick up following the break as Steamboat was able to score the first goal of the game at the 32:09 mark of the second half.
Senior defender Alex Coffey lofted a high cross on net off of a free kick just inside Glenwood’s half of the field that Marat Washburn was able to punch home through a crowd for the first goal of the game.
The goal seemed to break the game wide open as just over seven minutes later Glenwood answered with its own goal as Peralta made a great through-ball to Horning down the right wing. With defenders closing in, Horning was able to stop and chip it into the middle of the field where Jon Vazquez corralled the ball and slot it home past McCawley to knot the game at 1-1.
“It was a great run and a great combination,” Smith said. “It’s what we want them to do. We’re not looking for individual goals, and we’re not really looking to go big and have one guy run it down. That goal was the way it’s supposed to be for us.”
With the score tied 1-1, things looked evenly matched moving forward in a big 4A Western Slope League showdown, but the Sailors simply turned it on after Glenwood’s goal, scoring three unanswered goals just over one minute apart as Cruz Archuleta, Ross VanHara and Murphy Bohlmann found the back of the net to push the Steamboat lead to 4-1.
Credit to Glenwood, though, as the Demons never quit and put together some solid runs late to keep it close before ultimately coming up short.
“What I told the team was that we have got to learn our lessons from this,” Smith said. “You’ve got to learn that if you have mistakes against a team like that, they’re going to take advantage. But I gave the boys credit for coming back and continuing to battle, but we can’t lose our composure for a brief stretch like that.”
With the loss, Glenwood falls to 1-1 on the season. The Demons take on Grand Junction, Tuesday, in a neutral nonconference matchup with the Tigers.
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Down 14-7 with less than 11 minutes left in regulation, Rifle head coach Todd Casebier decided it was time to deviate from his ground-and-pound offense for a bit of an aerial attack.