Craig For the Moffat County High School girls soccer team Tuesday, the offense just didn’t get going soon enough.
The Bulldogs tried furiously to rally back against Roaring Fork at Woodbury Sports Complex, but time ran out and they lost, 3-2. Allie Ehlers scored both goals for MCHS.
With four teams from the Western Slope League qualifying for the regional playoffs, Tuesday’s matchup with the Rams was an important one for Moffat County, which sat in fifth place heading into the game.
Roaring Fork took a 2-0 lead into halftime with both goals coming off free kicks. After fouls on the Bulldogs, the Rams were able to set up good looks on goal and capitalize.
Taylor Adams scored early in the half for Roaring Fork, while Emily Fisher added another goal with 3:30 remaining. For the Bulldogs, the first half was a struggle, without many strong opportunities on offense.
Coach Harry Tripp wasn’t quite sure what to make of the game.
“I think we beat ourselves up the whole game,” he said. “We weren’t passing good. The little things added up on us. I don’t know, we were scared a little bit maybe. I don’t know how to describe it.”
In the second half, Moffat County controlled the ball more, and its attacks were stronger. But most of the good opportunities seemed to fall apart with one missed touch late in the developing play.
Their chances at a comeback took a major hit when Roaring Fork’s Heidi Small scored on a long ball forward that got her behind the Moffat Country defense with 11:27 remaining.
“That was a good high ball,” Tripp said. “That was a good team. They were a good team, but I think we could beat them.”
Ehlers found the net to put Moffat County on the board with 3:21 remaining on a shot from 20 yards out. A couple minutes later, the junior dribbled past several Rams players and pushed a shot past the goalie again to make things interesting. But the final whistle sounded shortly after the ensuing kickoff.
The loss dropped Moffat County to 5-5 this season while Roaring Fork improved to 7-1-1. It also delivered a serious blow to the Bulldogs’ playoff hopes.
But Tripp stressed the Bulldogs still are alive in the Western Slope League. Roaring Fork still has to play some of the best teams in the league, and Moffat County will have a chance to make up ground with two games upcoming against third-place Aspen.
The Bulldogs will need to rattle off some wins to get there, though. It will start with a showdown at Aspen on Thursday.
“We’re still in it, but we need to come prepared and take every game seriously,” Tripp said. “If they want something that’s achievable, they need to come with the mindset to take it.”
Nate Waggenspack can be reached at 970-875-1795 or firstname.lastname@example.org.