Box score from the Moffat County High School boys varsity soccer team’s game Saturday against Palisade High School at Loudy-Simpson Park:
(Team — 1st half — 2nd half — final)
• Moffat County — 5 — 3 — 8
• Palisade — 0 — 0 — 0
MCHS leading scorers:
(Name — goals)
• Alex Perez — 5
• Jorge Gonzalez — 2
• Bryant Cox — 1
At least until Tuesday, the Moffat County High School boys varsity soccer team will be cheering for a Western Slope League foe to come out on top.
The Bulldogs took care of business in their home finale Saturday against Palisade High School in an 8-0 victory.
In a season plagued with injuries, MCHS would be in control of its own playoff destiny if Eagle Valley High School defeats Steamboat Springs High School on Tuesday.
“We should have won a few more games earlier in the season, but now we have to hope and pull for Eagle (Valley),” head coach Rusty Cox said. “We have had injuries that have knocked us down, but it is all on us now to keep doing our job.”
The Bulldogs (6-5-2 overall, 5-3-1 WSL) scored early and often against Palisade at Loudy-Simpson Park.
Junior Alex Perez scored the first four goals of the game, three on breakaways and with swift dribbling around defenders.
Just before half, junior Bryant Cox took a pass from fellow junior Alan Perez on the right side of the net to put the Bulldogs up 5-0 heading into the break.
Cox said when facing a weaker opponent like Palisade (1-11 overall, 0-8 WSL), players have to avoid a letdown and work on perfecting the game plan.
“We really wanted to work on getting our passes to connect and get everyone together,” he said. “We knew our game plan coming in was to get the ball to Alex with his speed and being our last home game for the seniors, we wanted to go out there and not lose.”
Senior Jonathan Pando said he couldn’t believe he played his final home game as a Bulldog.
“You never think you are going to be here one day,” he said. “When you are a freshman, you still have four years, but they go by fast. We had a big win and I had fun out there.”
Senior Jorge Gonzalez scored two goals in the second half, one off a corner kick and one from outside the penalty box.
Alex Perez added another to bring his game total to five.
Cox played a lot of his younger players in the second half.
Because of injuries, however, the younger players have had valuable experience this season, he said.
“It is definitely beneficial to get the younger kids in when you can,” Cox said. “A lot of them really stepped up when guys were out injured. They are always chomping at the bit to get the opportunity to get in.”
If Eagle Valley defeats Steamboat on Tuesday, the Bulldogs and Sailors will face off Thursday for second place in the WSL.
MCHS tied Steamboat, 3-3, in the two teams’ first meeting Sept. 15.
No matter what, Cox said, the game will have playoff implications.
“If Steamboat beats Eagle, we still have a chance to knock Steamboat down a few seeds in the playoffs,” he said. “When we face Steamboat, you never know what is going to happen. Steamboat is tough, but it is anyone’s game.”
Pando said playing Steamboat helps take his game to another level.
“When we go to play Steam-
boat, our mindset changes,” he said. “We all go from being calm like we were (Saturday) to getting pumped and switching our flip from off to on.
“We will have a hard week of practice and be in the zone come Thursday.”
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