VMS wears down Coal Ridge soccer
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
VAIL, Colorado ” Vail Mountain soccer coach Bob Bandoni warned his squad at halftime.
The Gore Rangers needed to play with passion, or Coal Ridge would come back.
Bandoni’s players responded accordingly.
VMS scored two second-half goals to beat the feisty Titans 3-0 at Bandoni Alumni Field in Vail.
“I thought we played really well,” Bandoni said. “We played in their half of the field for really, the whole game.
“We wanted to make some adjustments at halftime to see if we could improve the quality of our chances, and the players responded well. We were able to find seams in their defense and get the ball deeper into their flanks. That produced a couple of quality goals for us.”
The Gore Rangers dominated the first half, but numerous scoring opportunities were turned away by Coal Ridge.
Tony Ryerson drilled a shot in the opening minutes only to see goal keeper Victor Hernandez make the save.
VMS continued to put pressure on Coal Ridge until Ryerson finally cracked the Titans’ defense. The senior got past the Titans’ back line, and found the back of the net on a perfect shot to the lower-left corner of the goal to give the Gore Rangers a 1-0 lead.
When the two teams went into the break, Bandoni went to work on his whiteboard. Bandoni told his players to spread the field to help create better scoring chances.
The strategy paid off.
In the 55th minute, Ryerson worked his way around Hernandez and easily found the back of the net for his second goal of the game. The Gore Rangers’ offense controlled possession for much of the game, wearing out the undermanned Titans.
“We only played 12 guys, so by the end we were tired and frustrated,” Coal Ridge coach Brian Blair said. “All year we’ve been giving up the first goal, and it just puts you in a bad spot. When it happened again today, it kind of broke our spirit.”
Cole Maritz capped the Gore Rangers’ solid performance with a goal to stretch VMS’ advantage to 3-0 in the closing minute of the game.
VMS controlled the tempo for much of the game, but that doesn’t mean the Gore Rangers’ defense wasn’t tested Tuesday.
Early in the second half, Coal Ridge’s Eric Schmitz broke through for an excellent scoring chance that would have tied the game 1-1. Unfortunately for Schmitz, Sean Minett made a diving save to keep VMS ahead.
“It was a nice shot,” Minett said. “I just got my hands on it and got a save.”
Minett stoned another Coal Ridge chance minutes later, and the Titans didn’t threaten again.
“Our defense, you couldn’t get through them today,” Minett said. “Our backs (Sean Woods and Forrest Graves) were key. There was a lot of talk out of them, which was really good. Our outside backs did awesome. Our defensive triangle was doing well. You have to hand it to the defense, I didn’t have to do much back there.”
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