Slow, steady earns the win
Post Independent Sports Editor
GLENWOOD SPRINGS — The ball rolled so slowly, Lalo Clement could see every detail of it on its way to the net.
“It’s like it was in slow motion,” the Roaring Fork junior midfielder joked after his goal in the 79th minute lifted the Rams to a 1-0 victory over Glenwood Springs at Stubler Memorial Field.
“It is just what we needed, though,” he continued. “We hadn’t been playing well before today.”
The Rams (6-2-1) played well enough just when it needed to against the Demons (4-5-0). The high point came in the final five minutes when the pressure Roaring Fork’s front line put on Glenwood reached its peak, leaving the Demons only a few minutes of stoppage time to earn an equalizer after Clement’s goal.
And Clement’s goal truly did go in slow motion. Erik Carrillo’s upfield pass found Clement streaking toward the goal on its left side. Then, after juking a defender, Clement’s chip shot went off the fingertips of a diving Shane Pittenger and slowly rolled across the goal line for the only score of the match.
“We needed that,” Clement said.
In more ways than one, it turns out.
“We really haven’t been playing well since the game we played against Durango [on Sept. 7],” said Roaring Fork junior Ben Carpenter, who had a pair of chances to score minutes before Clement found the net. “I think it was the way we played against Basalt [a 2-1 victory] where we really started to find our groove again.”
The loss was a tough one to swallow for Glenwood coach Steve White. Postseason positions are partially determined by a team’s strength of schedule, which doesn’t bode well for the 4A Demons after a loss to the 3A Rams.
Still, White figures it gives Glenwood an opportunity to test their short memories and focus on the Demons’ upcoming league schedule, beginning Tuesday at home against Class 4A’s top-ranked team, Battle Mountain. But, the loss also served as a learning experience.
“Every game is important,” White said. “I overheard a few of our players saying since we were playing against Roaring Fork, it doesn’t matter. Well, every game matters.”
Glenwood had a shot on an open Roaring Fork net in the 22nd minute before Roman Romero cleared the ball for a non-goalie save. Their next chance after that came in the 42nd minute, when Alex Stepineweski took a free-kick shot from 30 yards away when almost nobody — neither Glenwood’s nor Roaring Fork’s position players — was paying attention.
Roaring Fork goalie Alex Fisher was paying attention, however, and his vertical leap batted away what would have been a sure Glenwood goal.
Carpenter, however, got Roaring Fork’s push going. He covered his head with his uniform after his shot from 10 yards out was too high in the 78th minute, and he had another shot 1 minute later which was wide right.
“I thought for sure one of those would go in,” Carpenter said, grinning. “We ended up getting one anyway, though.”
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