(School, first half, second half, final)
Eagle Valley, 0, 4, 4
Moffat County, 7, 5, 12
How the Bulldogs scored:
MCHS (1-0): Tracy Mendoza goal, assisted by Jonathan Pando
MCHS (2-0): Eli Voyich goal, assisted by Alan Flores
MCHS (3-0): Mendoza goal, assisted by Johnny Landa
MCHS (4-0): Victor Villa goal, assisted by Flores
MCHS (5-0): Alex Perez goal, assisted by Mendoza
MCHS (6-0): Villa goal, assisted by Flores
MCHS (7-0): Cody Fallon goal, assisted by Mendoza
MCHS (8-0): Mendoza goal, assisted by Jorge Gonzalez
MCHS (9-0): Dustin Carlson goal, assisted by Flores
MCHS (10-0): Adrian Hernandez penalty kick goal
MCHS (11-0): Mendoza goal, assisted by Jorge Torres
MCHS (11-1): Eagle Valley penalty kick goal
MCHS (11-2): Eagle Valley goal
MCHS (11-3): Eagle Valley goal
MCHS (11-4): Eagle Valley goal
MCHS (12-4): Keegan Welder goal, assisted by Alex Perez
Two strategies are instrumental in winning a soccer game: Scoring first and scoring fast.
Moffat County High School soccer coach Rusty Cox said his team used these tactics well in their Saturday game against Eagle Valley at Loudy-Simpson Park, using the former immediately and the latter repeatedly.
The MCHS Bulldogs extended their undefeated season (6-0-0 overall) with a 12-4 victory over the Eagle Valley High School Devils (2-3-1).
The team took an early lead, as senior Tracy Mendoza scored a quick goal with an assist by junior Jonathan Pando 23 seconds into the game.
The pattern continued, with the Bulldogs up 3-0 within the first three minutes after a goal by senior Eli Voyich and a second for Mendoza.
The Bulldogs continued to dominate on both sides of the field throughout the first half while senior Dustin Carlson, the team’s goaltender, watched from afar.
“There were only about five shots on me,” Carlson said. “In the first half, there’s usually 12 on average.”
The ball remained on the Devils’ half of the field for much of the game’s first 45 minutes, with the Bulldogs scoring seven goals in the half.
“They were on the attack the whole game,” Cox said.
Senior Victor Villa, who scored two goals in the first half, said he and his teammates were feeling “relaxed” while on the field.
“We’d been hearing that they weren’t as good as last year, but we couldn’t come in with that kind of confidence,” Villa said. “We have to treat them like any other team.”
The second half began much like the first, with four goals by the Bulldogs in the first 12 minutes and 30 seconds, including a penalty kick by junior Adrian Hernandez.
“Penalty kicks are stressful and intense because there’s always the possibility of missing,” he said.
Hernandez said he was surprised the team chose him to take the kick, which was his first goal of the season.
“Even if I missed it, it wouldn’t have been a big disappointment,” he said.
Hernandez’s goal, the team’s 10th of the game, led Cox to invoke a “mercy rule” in the interest of good sportsmanship by taking one of his men off the field, and then another after the Bulldogs scored their 11th goal.
“The Eagle Valley coach told me he was missing some players, so we agreed on that rule before the game,” Cox said.
The Devils booted in four goals with their advantage in players, but Cox said he wasn’t worried about it costing them the game.
“The early lead was kind of hard for them to come back from,” he said.
A goal by Keegan Welder, assisted by Alex Perez, sealed the score at 12-4 in the final minutes.
“Games like this are great, because the team gets so much practice passing,” Cox said.
Mendoza, who scored four goals in the game to go along with two assists, said the match-up with the Devils was a good confidence builder for the Bulldogs’ next game, against Eagle Valley’s fellow Eagle County School District team, Battle Mountain High School.
“The Battle Mountain game will be hard because they always beat us,” Mendoza said.
Battle Mountain (4-0-0 overall) defeated Steamboat Springs (3-2-1 overall) Saturday afternoon.
Cox said he expects a different kind of game against Battle Mountain, which is an away game scheduled for Tuesday afternoon, but it was too soon to make any predictions.
“The team just takes each game one at a time,” he said.