Scruton’s stoppage time goal sends Demons past Devils
A stoppage time goal off of a free kick by Glenwood senior midfielder Nina Scruton gave the Demon girls soccer team a thrilling 2-1 win over the visiting Eagle Valley Devils Thursday night at Stubler Memorial Field.
Scruton’s goal broke a 1-1 tie in which both teams appeared headed for overtime, but following a foul on Eagle Valley, Scruton lofted a perfectly-placed free kick from nearly 50 yards out into the box, where the ball took a high bounce and found the back of the net to give the Demons the late lead.
“I think that the runs into the box ahead of the shot kind of distracted the keeper,” Glenwood Head Coach Joe Calabrese said. “But it was just a well-played set piece from Nina, who’s just excellent when it comes to plays like that.”
Prior to Scruton’s heroics, the Demons controlled the game for much of the first half through great defensive play of senior defender Mae Lang Burns, junior midfielder Devin McSwain, sophomore defenders Ashley Weir, Leigh Anne Johnson and Julie Mulhall, as well as freshman defender Celia Scruton.
The group was instrumental in turning away the Devils for a large majority of the first half, allowing the Devils to take just one shot on goal in the opening minute before turning them away near midfield repeatedly.
“They were extremely strong for us tonight,” Calabrese said. “Especially with the way Eagle played tonight. They were very direct with the ball and tried to play it over the top a lot, but the girls in the back really were the anchor of the team.
“When you play a team that is so direct, you have to have girls who can play the ball out of the back on the ground, get to our midfield and advance the ball. They did an exceptional job back there.”
With the defense standing tall, the Demons were able to apply a ton of pressure on the Eagle back line as senior midfielder Bailey Cox had a terrific cross into the box bounce just wide of sophomore midfielder Sierra McKinney’s foot in front of the net, while sophomore forward Sarah Helm had a shot go just wide of the post a few minutes later.
As the Demons continued to up the pressure, it was only a matter of time before they’d break through against the Devils. Fortunately for Glenwood, it came on a fluky play.
Celia Scruton made a great throw-in to a waiting McSwain just outside of the box. The junior made a great play on the ball to flick it backwards towards the net off of a header.
After making contact with the ball, McSwain watched as the ball took a high bounce and flew over the Eagle Valley goalkeeper’s outstretched arms into the back of the net for the goal, giving the Demons a 1-0 lead with just under 24 minutes showing on the clock.
Following McSwain’s weird goal, the Demons would continue to apply pressure in the first half, but couldn’t break through again before taking a 1-0 lead into the half over the Devils.
Looking to shut down the Devils once again in the second half, the Demons would get off to a slow start in their own end as a misplayed ball found the right foot of Eagle Valley senior midfielder Rose Sandell, who blasted home a shot into the top left corner of the net to beat the Glenwood keeper from roughly 25 yards out to tie the game at 1-1 early in the second half.
A few minutes later Eagle would pressure the Glenwood defense again, but a great play by Weir would force a corner kick from Eagle, where junior goalkeeper Erin Bucchin would come up with a big stop in front of the net to preserve the 1-1 tie.
After Bucchin’s big stop, it would be Glenwood’s turn to go on the attack, where the Demons would draw a corner kick of their own.
Nina Scruton’s kick lofted in front of the net, where Helm got a good shot off and looked to break the tie, but at the last second an Eagle defender was able to deflect the ball wide, keeping the game tied at 1-1.
Moments later Eagle would find itself on a one-on-one run as freshman forward Uma Nanin looked to get around Mulhall for a clean look at Bucchin, but the Glenwood sophomore would stand tall, forcing the ball out of bounds to allow the Demons to recover defensively.
Mulhall’s great play then led to Scruton’s bomb from near midfield, breaking the tie to give the Demons their second win of the season on home turf, sending a message to the rest of the 4A Western Slope League that the Demons are contenders this season.
With the win, Glenwood sits at 2-1, 2-1 4A WSL on the season. The Demons will have off until after Spring Break when they travel to Fruita Monument March 28 to take on the Wildcats at 6 p.m.
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