Jorge Gonzalez maneuvers around a Steamboat Springs High School defender Thursday at Loudy-Simpson Park. The Moffat County High School boys varsity soccer team was plagued with injuries on defense, but managed to force a 3-3 tie against the Sailors in the Western Slope League contest.

Photo by Joshua Gordon

Jorge Gonzalez maneuvers around a Steamboat Springs High School defender Thursday at Loudy-Simpson Park. The Moffat County High School boys varsity soccer team was plagued with injuries on defense, but managed to force a 3-3 tie against the Sailors in the Western Slope League contest.

MCHS, Steamboat battle to 3-3 tie in WSL rivalry game

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Results

Box score from the Moffat County High School boys varsity soccer team’s Thursday game against Steamboat Springs High School:

(Team — 1st half — 2nd half — final)

MCHS — 1 — 2 — 3

Steamboat — 1 — 2 — 3

Scoring summary:

First half

(Team — player — score)

• MCHS — junior Alan Flores — 1-0

• Steamboat Springs — junior Mac Noel — 1-1

Second half

• Steamboat Springs — senior Enrique Lopez — 2-1

• MCHS — senior Jonathan Pando — 2-2

• Steamboat Springs — Noel — 3-2

• MCHS — junior Alex Perez — 3-3

The Moffat County High School boys varsity soccer team found themselves in a similar situation Thursday against Western Slope League rival Steamboat Springs High School.

The Bulldogs were plagued by injuries, but found a way to keep up with the opponent, and forced a tie, 3-3, at Loudy-Simpson Park.

The outcome was the second straight tie for MCHS (1-1-2 overall, 0-0-1 WSL), which also tied Grand Junction High School, 2-2, on Sept. 10.

“We have three defenders who are either sick or have hip injuries, so our defense wasn’t as solid as it normally is,” MCHS coach Rusty Cox said. “But, we never quit. Playing Steamboat, you never know who is going to win or lose, and it was a battle we were looking forward to since the season began.”

MCHS junior Alan Flores scored the opening goal of the game, but the Sailors’ Mac Noel tied it up quickly after dribbling through the Bulldogs’ defense.

Steamboat senior Enrique Lopez broke the tie early in the second half with a kick that was out of reach for the MCHS goalie.

MCHS senior captain Jonathan Pando scored in a third straight game when he shot from beyond midfield to tie the game, 2-2.

Sailors coach Rob Bohlmann said his team lacked consistency throughout the game.

“At times we were solid, but the way Moffat County plays, it’s effective for them, but it throws us off,” he said. “Not being able to play the game in our rhythm explains the lack

of consistency.”

Still, Bohlmann said, the Sailors (3-0-1 overall, 1-0-1 WSL) have allowed the first goal in all four games this season.

“I don’t really have an answer for why we allow early goals,” he said. “The game isn’t decided in the first five or 10 minutes, but over 80 minutes. But, conceding the first goal is a concern for us, we just have been able to get back in.”

Junior Noel broke the tie once again for the Sailors after putting a header into the corner of the MCHS net with about 10 minutes left in the game.

The Bulldogs tried different positions for some players because of injuries, and Cox said it disrupted the team’s rhythm early.

However, MCHS junior Alex Perez checked back into his normal forward position after the Sailors goal and scored in less than a minute off an assist from Flores to again knot the game at 3-3.

“We knew we would have to make adjustments because of our defensive injuries, so we tried different things during practice,” Cox said. “But, when Alex was in his normal position, him and Alan had chemistry and it made everyone play better.”

The two teams will close the season out in a rematch Oct. 20 in Steamboat Springs.

Moving forward, Bohlmann said he hopes his team can start games faster and capitalize on more opportunities.

Cox said he needs his team to get healthy.

“We had some missed opportunities, but guys weren’t in their normal positions,” he said. “We always expect a hard time against Steamboat, but if we are at full health, we will

play better.”

The Bulldogs play Saturday at Eagle Valley High School, and the Sailors are scheduled to host Battle Mountain on Saturday.

Joshua Gordon can be reached at 875-1795 or at joshgordon@craigdailypress.com.

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