4-0 loss to Roaring Fork hurts Moffat County soccer’s playoff chances
Bulldogs highlight 4 during Senior Night
Earlier this week, the members of the Moffat County High School girls varsity soccer team had one of their best games of the season, but their hopes for the postseason weren’t quite as sunny as the weekend began.
MCHS lost, 4-0, in a Friday home game against Roaring Fork that brought the Bulldogs to 5-3 in the 3A/2A Western Slope League.
The Rams, 6-3-1, came to play, their leading scorer, Emily Fisher, taking a goal within minutes, followed by one from Maite Nieblas before Moffat County knew what had happened. Fisher would score once more before halftime as the Bulldogs readied to come back with much more energy to avenge the 3-0 tally.
Defense picked up later in the game, but getting into position to put the ball in the goal was another matter. MCHS’s own top scorer, Delaney Baker, created the most opportunities, but a curse of the crossbar must have been on her head, three shots bouncing off metal and getting her more and more aggravated.
It became more of a task for the team to stay positive as everything wore on, and Fisher’s final goal for the hat trick in the second half was just salt in the wound by that point.
“They beat themselves up today, it was sad to see,” said coach Harry Tripp.
Tripp attributed the loss to a lack of focus that came from a number of sources, from several of his athletes competing in both soccer and the MCHS track and field event in the same day to the pressure of a conference game that will count for a lot.
A halftime ceremony for Senior Night that honored upperclassmen Baker, Alex Samuelson, Chandra Warren and Jodi Hough and their families may have also been a distraction, albeit a pleasant one.
Regardless of the reason for their heads being elsewhere, Tripp said dedication will be critical as the group moves into the final week of the regular season. Being defeated by Roaring Fork means MCHS’s shot at the playoffs is diminished but still there, wins against Vail Mountain at home Monday and on the road Tuesday in Rifle sending the Bulldogs to the next level.
And, while the Bears are 1-6 in the conference, 2A Vail Mountain has yet to lose within the WSL, jockeying for the honor of the top spot with Coal Ridge.
Tripp believes his team can face the Gore Rangers, but being in the right state of mind is what will make the difference.
“They’ve got to want it, clean up their passes and their traps,” Tripp said. “There’s a lot we’ve got to work on, and we don’t have time to practice.”
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