Titans win a squeaker against Rams
CARBONDALE – Roaring Fork’s Alex Hernandez thought he tied the game up. But the metal post left of Coal Ridge goalkeeper Skyler James refused to give the Rams a break.With 12 minutes left in Saturday’s boys soccer game, Hernandez rifled a shot that traveled about a quarter of the field and appeared to have the hook to find net. But it hit the post, and despite a frenzied final push with plenty of shots on or near goal, Coal Ridge emerged with a 1-0 boys soccer win.Hernandez, responsible for a number of those near-misses, could only shake his head in despair afterwards. That post shot dominated his thoughts.”Oooh,” he said. “To be honest, I thought it was going in. It was curving. There’s not much we can do. We’ve just got to get the next one and learn from our mistakes.”
Both the Rams (0-3-2 overall and in the 3A Western Slope League) and Titans (1-6, 1-4) have experienced their share of hard luck this season, and both were winless entering Saturday’s matinee tilt.After four losses by a single goal, Coal Ridge reversed its fortunes. And the Titans’ lone goal came courtesy of teamwork. The three-touch play started in the right corner where Ryan Zelenka came up with a steal with just under 18 minutes remaining in the first half. He moved the ball over to Fernando Alvarado, who crossed the ball out left to a wide-open Efrain Garcia, who somehow booted the ball past Roaring Fork keeper Torrey Udall. “I saw him go underneath and call for the split,” said Alvarado, who passed up a shot in favor of the pass. “We need more teamwork, to play unselfishly.”The lanky Udall nearly made the stop, getting a hand on it before it rolled slowly behind him into goal. Outside of that one shot, the Ram keeper shut the door on the Titans.
“Torrey’s a tough goalie,” Coal Ridge coach Brian Blair said. “It’s amazing for how big he is, he gets the low stuff.”Blair saw his Titans more vocal and spirited than he has in some time. James in particular had a lively game, coming up with big saves and communicating effectively.”He was yelling at the defense and talking,” Blair said. “The kid’s a basketball player playing soccer. He gets life into everybody else. It’s infectious.”Both teams hook up with Paonia next, with the Eagles traveling to Roaring Fork on Tuesday and to Coal Ridge on Thursday.
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