A Rifle High School player slides to knock the ball away from Moffat County High School junior Nestor Arrellano. Arellano scored a goal and assisted on another for the Bulldogs, but MCHS lost, 3-2, Tuesday at Loudy-Simpson Park.

Photo by Nate Waggenspack

A Rifle High School player slides to knock the ball away from Moffat County High School junior Nestor Arrellano. Arellano scored a goal and assisted on another for the Bulldogs, but MCHS lost, 3-2, Tuesday at Loudy-Simpson Park.

Moffat County soccer suffers loss in home opener

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Moffat County High School senior Bryant Cox takes a shot during the team's game versus Rifle High School Tuesday at Loudy-Simpson Park. Cox would score the Bulldogs' first goal to tie the game at one.

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The Moffat County High School wall of defenders deflects a Rifle High School free kick during the game Tuesday at Loudy-Simpson Park. Rifle would come from behind to win, 3-2.

Schedule ...

Thursday vs. Colorado Rocky Mountain High School 4 p.m.

Saturday at Berthoud High School 1 p.m.

Giving up one bad goal is difficult enough to overcome in a low scoring soccer game.

On Tuesday, the Moffat County High School boys soccer team gave up two bad goals in a 3-2 overtime loss to Rifle High School at Loudy-Simpson Park.

In their home debut for the 2012 season, the boys were treated to a rainy afternoon, but played well for most of the game. After giving up an early goal to Rifle, the Bulldogs tied the game quickly, then took a lead which they held for most of the second half.

But poor clearance to the middle of the field resulted in an equalizing goal for the Bears with less than two minutes to play.

After a tie in regulation led to sudden-death overtime, MCHS only got 10 players on the field. Rifle, playing with a full 11, scored on a rebound shot under a minute into the extra period.

It was a very frustrating loss for the Bulldogs and head coach Rusty Cox, who could point to the mistakes that led to the game going from a win to a loss in just a few minutes.

“We came out to flat,” Cox said. “We let them score early on and you can’t do that. We’ve got to communicate better as a team. We had a communication issue and only had 10 players on the field and (Rifle) came down the side we had our man out of. And we’ve got to clear it. You can’t just barely touch the ball and expect it to not just end up in the back of your net.”

Senior Bryant Cox scored the first goal for the Bulldogs, which brought MCHS even, 1-1, 10 minutes into the game.

In the second half, junior Nestor Arrellano, who also assisted on Cox’s goal, scored on a rebound off the keep to give the Bulldogs the lead with 19:45 to play.

But Rifle kept the pressure on for much of the rest of the half, and was rewarded at the toughest of times for Moffat County.

The loss, which drops MCHS to 1-2 on the season, left a bitter taste in the mouths of coaches and players, but Rusty Cox said it made it clear where the team needs work.

“I’m not super down, the goals we gave up were on silly mistakes,” he said. “Some very easy, curable things. It’s not like we have to rebuild the whole world. We’re going to work on clearance, communication and shifting, making sure we don’t leave our center defense open.”

The Bulldogs’ next game is at 4 p.m. Thursday, again at Loudy-Simpson, against Colorado Rocky Mountain High School.

Cox and his players know they have to keep working.

“We’ve just got to push on, you know?” Cox said. “Just work through everything and don’t make the same mistakes.”

Nate Waggenspack can be reached at 875-1795 or nwaggenspack@craigdailypress.com. Follow Craig Daily Press sports coverage on Twitter at @CDP_Sports.

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