Bulldogs soccer coming together | CraigDailyPress.com

Bulldogs soccer coming together

MCHS defeats Roaring Fork for 2nd win

John Vandelinder

Two in a row – and counting.

Having gone winless in its first four games, the Moffat County High School soccer team is picking up steam.

The Bulldogs won their second consecutive game Saturday – a 2-1 victory against visiting Roaring Fork – after dispatching Palisade, 4-0, on Friday.

“It’s nice to see the guys playing well,” MCHS coach Rusty Cox said of the two-game win streak. “We don’t have one guy that stands out. We are fighting together as a team.”

The Bulldogs took an early 1-0 lead three minutes into Saturday’s contest on a goal credited to sophomore Tracy Mendoza on paper.

But, to those in attendance Saturday at Loudy-Simpson Park, what happened on the field was different than what the box score read.

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Mendoza’s shot ricocheted off of a Ram’s defender and into the back of Roaring Fork’s net.

“Giving up that own goal was tough,” Rams coach John Ackerman said. “We didn’t come out with the intensity we needed in the first half. And unfortunately, by the time we did, it was too late.”

MCHS (2-4 overall, 1-4 Western Slope League – 4A) held its slim lead through the next 37 minutes into the halftime break.

Roaring Fork (2-2-3 overall, 2-1-3 WSL – 3A) came out in the second frame with the intensity Ackerman was searching for, tying the game when Wylie Adams scored on a perfect cross by Saulito Vega 12:20 in.

But, MCHS kept the pressure on.

Controlling the pace of play for much of the final 28 minutes, the Bulldogs finally broke through with less than 10 minutes left to play.

Sophomore Victor Villa executed a perfect cross off a direct kick that Mendoza headed into the back of the Rams net for what would prove to be the game-winning goal.

“I was looking for it,” Mendoza said of the cross by Villa. “I told Victor to put it at the second post, and I would take care of the rest. It was a perfect center.”

Mendoza said the team is gaining momentum, and he knows why.

“We are starting to play together as a team,” he said. “We have a lot more confidence now and we are getting used to each other.”

MCHS puts its win-streak on the line Tuesday, when the team visits Eagle Valley in a rematch of last week’s 5-1 loss.

“We can hold our heads high,” Cox said. “We can always improve. But, this will be a different team that plays at Eagle Valley.

“It’s nice to win back-to-back games, but it’s still one game at a time.”