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Volunteers make GS soccer tournament successful

Phil Sandoval

It’s all for the kids.

That’s the answer close to 100 adult workers would replywith if asked why they gave up of most of their Memorial Day weekend to volunteer at the annual Glenwood Springs Youth Invitational Soccer Tournament.

The problem for the volunteers was getting a free minute to talk.

With hundreds of 12-to-14 year old soccer players, accompanied by an equal number of parents and supporters, the corps of volunteers was kept extremely busy throughout the two-day span of the tournament, held at Gates Soccer Park on the Spring Valley campus of Colorado Mountain College.

Tasks included directing teams to fields, manning concession and T-shirt booths, and tabulating results. But, the volunteers didn’t mind; the work benefited the kids.

And they got to witness some great soccer as well.

A total of 47 youth soccer teams from all over Colorado participated at this year’s tournament.

Teams traveled in from all points of the state, including squads from Castle Rock, Colorado Springs, Littleton, Wheat Ridge, Longmont, and Fort Collins along with closer-by teams from New Castle, Vail, Aspen and Grand Junction. And of course, the host team – the Glenwood Springs Ice.

After two days of intensive action, five teams were crowned as 2002 Tournament champions.

Championship games were held for U-12 and U-14 boys and girls teams.

The Basalt Icy Chicks was the only area team to grab a championship trophy.

They advanced to Sunday’s U-12 girls title game against the Glenwood Ice on three straight shutout wins in pool-play games.

The Ice gave their local rivals a tough challenge.

Carly Stillman’s goal in the 10th minute gave Glenwood a 1-0 lead.

And thanks to the defensive play of Ice goalie Kelsie Hert, and defenders Audrey Brown, Avery Denney, and Mikaela Guettler, the Ice’s slim lead stood up until the final seven minutes.

In the 53rd minute, Basalt’s Melissa Stewart gained control of a loose ball in the penalty area, and slipped it past the fallen Glenwood keeper for a 1-1 tie.

Energized by the goal, the Icy Chicks kept the pressure on in their offense zone.

Hert made a diving stop on Allison Pendergast’s shot in the waning seconds of regulation, but, wasn’t completely able to stop the ball’s momentum toward the goal line.

With the goalie out of position Basalt forward Katherine Fitzpatrick followed up the initial play, and tucked the ball inside the near post for the winning score.

The Icy Chicks ran through the U-12 girls division with a 4-0 undefeated record.

They advanced to the championship game with shutout wins in pool-play over Steamboat 5-0, the Grand Mesa Blue from Grand Junction, 3-0, and a 1-0 win over the Colorado Storm from Centennial.

Glenwood Springs’ road to the championship game was tougher. In their pool, the Ice had a pair of 2-2 ties sandwiched between a 2-1 win over Arvada’s Colorado Edge Mustangs.

In the boys’ championship games, the U-12 Grand Mesa Fire of Grand Junction defeated Real Colorado Red of Castle Rock, 3-2. The Vail Crush shut out the Grand Mesa U-14 boys, 3-0.

There were two U-14 girls championships determined on Sunday. Both needed an overtime period to determine a winner.

The Denver Dragonflies took a 2-1 decision over the Wheat Ridge Lightning for the Red Division title.

The Westminster Red Lions won the White Division crown on a 1-0 win against the Hotchkiss North Fork.

Third place teams included The Colorado Storm (U-12 girls), Colorado Extreme Force (U-12 boys), Longmont Stealth (U-14 boys) and the Boulder Force Black in the U-14 girls’ division.


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