Eagle Valley's Annika Sandberg goes up for the ball against Moffat County's Samantha Ericksen during Thursday's game in Gypsum. The Devils defeated the Bulldogs, 5-1.

Theo Stroomer/Vail Daily

Eagle Valley's Annika Sandberg goes up for the ball against Moffat County's Samantha Ericksen during Thursday's game in Gypsum. The Devils defeated the Bulldogs, 5-1.

Bulldogs drop eighth in a row

Eagle Valley's Luczkow bags hat trick in 5-1 Devils' win

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— There will be no sprints during Eagle Valley's soccer practice today.

In her role as a senior and team captain, the Devils' Nicole Luczkow said in the pregame huddle that Eagle Valley would be running today if the team didn't give its all on Senior Day against Moffat County on Thursday.

And when Luczkow talks, the Devils apparently listen. Behind a hat trick from their captain and host of contributions up and down the roster, the Devils broke into the win column for the first time this season, knocking off the visiting Bulldogs, 5-1.

"No sprints tomorrow," Luczkow said with a laugh.

Given the team's struggles this year - the Devils came into the game at 0-9 - Thursday was particularly sweet.

"It's really good," said Pearl Nanin, who had a goal and two assists. "I'm excited that we won. I'm really happy."

"It's the tenth game of the season," coach Francois Nanin said. "We have been playing very hard every game. We've competed with everybody for a portion of the game. It's frustrating when you get beat and beat. That's definitely good. ... It's coming along. It's a good time of the season. I hope we're going to build on this for the five games left this season and the next season."

For Moffat (0-8), it was another loss. Yet in a game between two rebuilding programs, there were visible signs of progress.

"It definitely builds our confidence," Bulldogs coach Alegra Yager said.

"It's the second day we've scored, which is huge for us because we haven't scored all season."

Hats off

Both teams went back-and-forth in the first 40 minutes with Eagle Valley striking first on a nifty pass from Pearl Nanin at the top of the box to Luczkow.

Moffat responded with a goal from Amanda Brewer, who also scored her team's first goal of the season in a 5-1 loss to Rifle on Wednesday.

In the second half, the Devils clicked. Not only did Nanin hook up with Luczkow for the game winner, but it was an elegant score. Nanin made a fine run down the right side and then crossed the ball perfectly. Sitting on the far past was Luczkow to head the ball into the net for a 2-1 lead.

"We are working on passing," Francois Nanin said. "The ball has to come from every where on the field. Everybody's involved in attacking and defending. After 10 games, they finally connect. It's great."

"I've always wanted a header goal, so that was probably my favorite one," Luczkow said.

In fact, headers are sort of a tradition on the day the team honors its seniors. Last year, the Devils had two header goals (Yvette Parra and Sarah Hoza).

Eagle Valley wasn't done. After Devils goalie Bianca Blanco snuffed out a good chance from Moffat's Imelda Hernandez, Mikala Nevin fed Luczkow for the hat trick.

After a Moffat handball in the box, Tania Silva did the honors on the penalty kick. The goal was a nice nod to the senior fullback who has been the bulwark of the Eagle Valley defense this season. Pearl Nanin got her first goal of the season to wrap the game.

Next up

Moffat County continues its road ways at Palisade tonight and then heading on to Delta on Saturday. Meanwhile, Eagle Valley, though it still has some games to play, sent off its seniors, Luczkow, Silva and Samantha Villa, with a win.

"It's sad when you arrive to a program and you already have seniors leaving," Francois Nanin said. "You wish you would have one more season with them."

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