Bulldogs rally to beat Eagle Valley, 4-2, at home | CraigDailyPress.com

Bulldogs rally to beat Eagle Valley, 4-2, at home

Joshua Gordon

Alan Flores, a Moffat County High School junior, battles an Eagle Valley High School defender Thursday at Loudy-Simpson Park. The Bulldogs trailed 2-1 at half time, but rallied back to win, 4-2.

Rusty Cox has wanted his younger players to step up their game all season.

On Thursday at home, the Moffat County High School boys varsity soccer team's first underclassman put a goal in the back of the net.

Freshman Tanner Snyder waited in the goalie box as junior Alan Flores sent a penalty kick over the Eagle Valley High School goalie's head.

The ball dropped right next to Snyder, who knocked the ball in and gave the Bulldogs security in a 4-2 victory over their Western Slope League opponent.

As Snyder jogged off the field later in the game, Cox embraced him in a hug and said, "What did I tell you?"

"The younger guys are getting better all the time and they are working harder," Cox said after the game. "I think the upperclassmen are becoming more comfortable with them in there, and it is making everyone step up their game."

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Junior Alex Perez scored the first goal of the game, but the Bulldogs went into the half trailing 2-1 when Eagle Valley capitalized on a long shot and a penalty kick.

However, at half, Cox reminded his team they trailed 2-1 at the break in the two team's pervious game on Sept. 17.

MCHS came back to win 4-3 in overtime.

"I told them we were down before and came back to win, so we can do it again," Cox said. "In the second half, everyone started playing their positions better and everyone just picked up their game."

When the second half started, the Bulldogs controlled the tempo from the start.

Perez tied the game up with a kick from just outside the goalie box that went into the top corner of the net.

A few minutes later, senior Jonathan Pando dribbled past the Eagle Valley defenders and deep into the Devils' territory.

Flores came up the middle and received a pass from Pando before knocking it past the goalie to put the Bulldogs up for good.

"We are starting to play better," Cox said. "We started slow again, but we became more consistent in our passes and sends as the game went on. We controlled the ball better and didn't panic."

Eagle Valley (2-6 overall, 1-3 WSL) controlled the tempo at the end of the first half with their speed.

Cox said his defenders left too much space between themselves and their opponents, which is how the long shot was able to score.

"We had to redo our defense with a couple guys out, so it required some adjustment," he said. "There was some miscommunication between the defense and midfield early, but I think we started to figure it out."

The Bulldogs (4-3-2 overall, 3-1-1 WSL) play Saturday at Glenwood Springs High School.

Cox said as the team continues to get healthy, they will continue to play better.

"The team just needs to keep moving forward," he said. "We have had a few missteps with injuries and sickness, but we keep looking to improve."

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Box score from the Moffat County High School boys varsity soccer team’s game Thursday against Eagle Valley High School:

(Team — 1st — 2nd — final)

• Moffat County — 1 — 3 — 4

• Eagle Valley — 2 — 0 — 2

MCHS leading scorers:

(Name — goals)

• Alex Perez — 2

• Alan Flores — 1

• Tanner Snyder — 1