Jose Duarte battles for the ball Tuesday at Woodbury Sports Complex. Duarte scored the lone goal in a 1-0 victory for Moffat County against Grand Valley.

Photo by Nate Waggenspack

Jose Duarte battles for the ball Tuesday at Woodbury Sports Complex. Duarte scored the lone goal in a 1-0 victory for Moffat County against Grand Valley.

Defense key to 1-0 Moffat County soccer win

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With one of its best defensive efforts of the season, Moffat County High School soccer picked up a home win against conference foe Grand Valley on Tuesday.

The Bulldogs tied the Cardinals, 1-1, in a game in Parachute earlier this season but kept GVHS out of the goal in Craig, posting a 1-0 win in the rematch. Jose Duarte scored the game’s only goal.

Moffat County thought it had committed an error, which led to Grand Valley’s goal in Parachute, so the Bulldogs wanted to shut the Cardinals down this time around. They did so with superior ball control and defense.

“It was nothing fancy from my guys, just quick, short passes,” head coach Rusty Cox said. “In my opinion, we outplayed them today by keeping possession of the ball for most of the game.”

After a scoreless first 15 minutes, Grand Valley had a decent chance on goal when Bulldogs goalkeeper Alex Arrellano collided with a Cardinal striker while racing to the ball. Arrellano made the save but was injured in the process and did not play the rest of the game.

Right back Brenden Spencer stepped in and played keeper the rest of the game, doing an admirable job in relief.

“Brenden’s a beast when he wants to be,” Cox said.

Moffat County scored the game-winner in the first half, as Duarte corralled a rebound after a shot attempt by Nestor Arrellano and found the back of the net.

Neither team scored from then on, though Moffat County continued to threaten.

“We created more opportunities for ourselves but couldn’t finish them,” Cox said. “We’ve been able to win games all season, but haven’t had that finishing touch. That’s what we need.”

Duarte thought the team’s defense, especially from the midfielders dropping in to help out when the ball was deep in Moffat County’s zone, made a difference in the game.

“People were coming back on defense really well today,” he said. “We were covering the field well and played better than we have so far.”

Moffat County could have its entire team back from injuries and ineligibility in time for it’s next game, another home contest against Aspen on Saturday.

Duarte said he is looking forward to it.

“Now that we got this win, I feel our effort is going to be better and we’ll keep pushing,” he said.

Nate Waggenspack can be reached at 970-875-1795 or nwaggenspack@CraigDailyPress.com.

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