Thomas’ double-overtime strike sends Demons over Wildcats
Playing their third game in the last four nights, the Glenwood girls soccer team used a goal by junior Levyn Thomas near the end of the second overtime period to post a hard-fought 1-0 victory over the 5A Fruita Monument Wildcats at Stubler Memorial Field on Thursday night.
With several Demons and Wildcats jostling for position near the Fruita goal, and the contest looking like a tie would be inevitable, senior Eryn Peterson gained control of the ball long enough to flick a centering pass to Thomas, who booted a dart into the right side of the net past diving goalkeeper Peyton Drake. The score by Thomas put to a conclusion a battle that saw several chances to gain points on the scoreboard by both teams go by the wayside during the course of the evening.
This first half of play saw Natalya Taylor have a breakaway opportunity near the midway point of the period for Glenwood, but the aggressive sophomore’s shot on goal skidded wide left of its intended target as both teams continued to try and break into the scoring column.
The Demons’ backline defense of sophomore Celia Scruton, junior Leigh Anne Johnson, and senior Devan McSwain pushed back at the Wildcats each time the visitors mounted a charge at Glenwood junior keeper Hannah Juul.
Fruita missed a golden opportunity as the halftime whistle neared, when freshman Hannah Kuta hit the top of the crossbar and the ball sailed harmlessly out of bounds as Juul was left reaching and hoping.
The physical nature of the game became a contest of the irresistible force meets the immovable object in the second half of play.
Fruita Monument came into the game ranked No. 7 in the 5A RPI rankings, but the Wildcats could not mount any serious scoring threats as the Demons continued to push the pace of play on the offensive end, and keep things stingy on the defensive side of the field.
With 21:44 showing on the clock in regulation, Peterson and Taylor rambled deep into Wildcat territory with Taylor controlling the ball downfield and narrowly missing a shot that, this time, was just to the right of the Fruita goal, as the game remained deadlocked.
When the whistle sounded to end regulation play, it was only fitting that extra minutes would be needed to earn a victory in this tightly-contested affair.
The first overtime was filled with controversy as Fruita’s Drake smothered a shot by Taylor in front of the Fruita goal. The two got tangled up on the ground, and Drake was initially called for a violation and given a yellow card, looking like the Demons would get a penalty kick. After a brief stoppage in play the referees reversed the decision, giving the Demons the ball on a side out of bounds, as the game then headed for its second, and decisive overtime.
Glenwood Head Coach Joe Calabrese knew coming into the contest that his team was up against a quality opponent in Fruita.
“The girls showed up to play tonight, and they played well,” said Calabrese following the game. “We knew Fruita was a very good team, but these girls never give up, and that’s special in any group. I’m very pleased with the results this week. I knew the girls would be up to the task.”
The next task for the Demons (10-2, 8-2 WSL) will be another nonconference tilt as they will head east Saturday afternoon to take on the Conifer Lobos.