Wind, Demons team up to beat Rifle
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
RIFLE, Colorado ” In the first half, the Glenwood Springs and Rifle soccer teams were on the same level. Both had good chances on goal, both were passing the ball well and the scoreboard reflected the equality with a 1-1 tie after 40 minutes.
Then the winds changed ” Literally.
Huge gusts swept through the field in the second half, going with the Demons and against the Bears, helping Glenwood bury three goals and didn’t even let Rifle get a shot on goal as the Demons went on for a 4-1 victory.
“I felt bad for them. If the wind was going the other way, we would have been in their shoes,” Glenwood Springs head coach Bryan Stoltzfus said of Rifle.
It didn’t take long for the Demons to put their wind advantage to use. Two minutes into the second half Chelsea Vallario found Bryttnie Evans who launched a rocket into the upper right corner of Rifle’s goal.
Glenwood continued its onslaught on Rifle’s goal as the Bears struggled to clear the ball against wind ” which was strong enough to send a resting ball rolling. Bear goalkeeper Abby Schmidt’s punts came back to her and Rifle’s defenders couldn’t get goal kicks to clear the box.
“The wind picked up and everything went Glenwood’s way,” said senior Rifle defender Mindy Gonzales. “We couldn’t even get the ball out of our back end. Our skill had nothing to do with this game, honestly.”
With 18 minutes to play, Evans, a sophomore, struck for her second goal. Standing deep in the corner, she fired off a shot that carried and then bounced into the far side of the Bears’ goal past Schmidt.
“It’s nice to have luck on my side. I’ll take luck,” Evans said of her goal after the game.
Glenwood put its final goal on the board with 4:40 remaining when Sarah Treese got a foot on a Carly Stillman corner kick and sent it rolling into the back of the net.
Glenwood, which is already assured a playoff spot, moved to 9-2-2 in the Class 4A Western Slope League and 9-3-2 overall. They are currently in second place in the WSL behind 12-0 Battle Mountain, which they will face today at 5:45 p.m. in Glenwood.
The Demons also earned a season sweep over the Bears, as they beat Rifle 2-1 in overtime on April 5.
“This was pretty intense because we always tie and then go into overtime so it was nice to have a solid win,” Evans said.
Rifle on the other hand, had its season end with the loss. The Bears finished with a 6-7-1 league record and 6-8-1 overall. The top five teams from the WSL qualify for the postseason, but Montrose and Montezuma-Cortez join the mix, which leaves Rifle at No. 6.
The game marked the end of the prep careers of star forward Chelsea Webb, first-year goalie Schmidt and Gonzales ” the anchor of Rifle’s defense.
“It was rough and it was a bad way to end our season, but we kept going,” Gonzales said. “We stuck together as a team all the way until the last kick and that’s all we could do.”
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