Craig With one win apiece and sitting at the bottom of the league standings, Saturday's girls soccer match between Eagle Valley and host Moffat County High School wasn't carrying much value in the hunt for playoff positioning.
The reward - last place in the Western Slope League - awaited the loser, with match-ups against first-place Battle Mountain looming on the horizon for both.
Moffat County (1-12 overall, 1-12 WSL) earned the title as current league cellar-dwellar as the Devils scored multiple goals in the final 15 minutes, pulling out a 3-0 road victory.
Both Eagle Valley (2-11 overall, 2-11 WSL) wins this season have been against the Bulldogs, with the Devils prevailing, 5-1, April 17 at home.
"This is a great win for a program like ours," Eagle Valley coach Francois Nanin said. "We started at the bottom, and these girls, over the last 10 days, have really been progressing."
The teams battled to a scoreless tie at the half, but the time of possession favored the Devils.
Eagle Valley broke through in the second half.
"Soccer is an 80-minute game," coach Nanin said. "We won it in the last 15 minutes. That's why we play the whole 80 minutes."
With less than 15 minutes remaining in the contest, Pearl Nanin deposited a long rebound off MCHS goalie Imelda Hernandez into an open Bulldogs net.
The goal deflated the Bulldogs, and the Devils dominated the rest of the game.
Eagle Valley forward Tanya Silva broke down the right sideline untouched, scoring with less than 10 minutes remaining in regulation.
Pearl Nanin struck again four minutes later, accounting for the final margin of victory.
"I was thinking hat trick," Pearl Nanin said. "There wasn't a lot of time left, but I was (thinking about it). We are just playing to win right now."
Moffat County visits Battle Mountain (13-0) on Tuesday, then hosts Palisade (3-6-1) on Wednesday.
John Vandelinder can be reached at 875-1793, or firstname.lastname@example.org