If you go
What: MCHS boys varsity soccer game against Steamboat Springs
When: 3:30 p.m., Thursday
Where: Loudy-Simpson Park, 500 S. Ranney St.
A change in location for the Moffat County High School soccer team’s Saturday game saw them playing in unfamiliar territory, but the results were no less fruitful.
The second meeting between the MCHS Bulldogs and the Palisade team of the same name had even better results than their first game, with Moffat County winning, 7-0.
The game was moved from Palisade’s usual venue, the Peach Bowl, to the soccer field of Mesa State College.
MCHS coach Rusty Cox said the move made little difference in the results. His team was ready to give an encore performance of the Sept. 24 game against Palisade, which they won, 8-2.
Sophomore Alex Perez led the day in goals, netting four, one of which was unassisted. Senior Tracy Mendoza, junior Johnny Landa and sophomore Alan Flores weren’t far behind, scoring a goal each.
Landa, Perez and Mendoza, along with senior Manuel Tarango, each also had an assist.
Cox said his team played a good game, but they will need to be ready for the final game of the regular season, Thursday’s home game, a rematch with Steamboat Springs.
“I’m not expecting any shut-outs or blow-outs,” Cox said. “No matter what, it’ll be a tough game.”
The Bulldogs beat the Sailors, 5-1, early in the season, which Cox said will be a motivation for Steamboat to want to win all the more.
An even bigger reason is that the playoffs are on the line for both MCHS and Steamboat. The top three teams in the Western Slope will go on to post-season games. With a league record of 6-3, MCHS sits at second in the Slope, while Steamboat is tied for third with Eagle Valley at 5-3, following the Devils’ victory against Glenwood Springs.
The Sailors play at Eagle Valley tonight.
“I’m looking forward to the results of that game,” Cox said. “There are just so many variables that go into the playoffs.”
Another wild card that may affect the Bulldogs is the playing conditions at Loudy-Simpson Park, where the soccer fields have been moistened by recent wet weather.
“A wet field is good for us,” Cox said.
Cox added the team’s passing on Loudy-Simpson’s grass will be stronger, as opposed to the speed of the Astroturf at Steamboat.
“I don’t see it being a big advantage,” he said. “Steamboat doesn’t only practice on Astroturf.”
Cox said the only definite strategy is for his team to rely on the skills that have brought them to this point.
“We just need to go out and play hard, so that we can lock it up,” he said.