Moffat County High School junior Marco Ayala passes upfield during the boys varsity soccer game Tuesday against Grand Junction Central. The game went into double overtime, with neither team scoring, leaving the Bulldogs 0-0-1.

Photo by Andy Bockelman

Moffat County High School junior Marco Ayala passes upfield during the boys varsity soccer game Tuesday against Grand Junction Central. The game went into double overtime, with neither team scoring, leaving the Bulldogs 0-0-1.

Moffat County High School boys soccer opens with 0-0 game

Team ties with Grand Junction Central, prepares for Aspen

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— It may not be a win, but going against a larger school and holding on to the very end has set a fine precedent for one group of Bulldogs.

The first of any of Moffat County High School’s fall sports season to play at home this year was the boys varsity soccer team, hosting the Warriors, of Grand Junction Central, on Tuesday afternoon, a game that ended up scoreless on both ends.

The 0-0 tie came after a double overtime match that showcased the relentless spirit of both teams, with strong defense on either side of the field keeping the pair of goose eggs from changing.

The intensity of play was harsh, with a few minor injuries affecting the mood.

MCHS’s Spencer Turner took a ball to the face midway through the first half, but a few minutes and some wads of tissue treating his bloody nose later, and he was good to go with the rest of the Bulldogs.

Moffat County faltered slightly on offense and could not capitalize on any of the 19 shots on goal.

Meanwhile, within the net, goaltender Alex Arellano was a mobile wall, diving, leaping, swatting at the ball and otherwise doing anything else he could to keep the Warriors at bay.

The senior, a regional leader in the goalie position last season, ended the match with 31 total saves.

“I’m happy with the results,” Arellano said. “We came in as the underdogs, and we tied, but it’s pretty much a win for me.”

Coach Jacob Pingel, of Central, now 1-2-1, said he was impressed with the abilities of MCHS.

“They’ve got some incredibly fast kids here,” he said.

The Bulldogs’ coach, Harry Tripp, said battling a Class 5A team to a standstill is a positive start to the season, his first coaching the sport for the boys of MCHS.

“I thought we did phenomenal,” he said.

The shortcomings of his team’s play in their season opener are elements Tripp hopes to build up as the season goes, like greater overall stamina and smarter passing.

Next up for the team, 0-0-1, is a road game Thursday in Aspen, which will require some adjustments.

“Their field is AstroTurf, and we’re not used to that, so the ball’s going to be going a lot faster,” he said.

Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or abockelman@CraigDailyPress.com or follow him on Twitter @CDP_Sports.

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