Despite loss, soccer team’s confidence remains high |

Despite loss, soccer team’s confidence remains high

David Pressgrove

In their first games of the season, the Moffat County High School boys soccer team had the opportunities for a little bit of everything, some junior varsity action, a league game and a game against the eventual tournament champion.

The Bulldogs’ came away from the Glenwood Tournament with a 1-2 record, but no lack in belief that they are headed in the right direction.

“This team is making the right decisions,” coach Mick Havrilla said. “They are advanced beyond what we were last year.”

The Bulldog’s victory came with a 9-6 showing against Roaring Fork. Havrilla said he got to play a majority of the younger guys in the game and saw some positive things from the future of the program.

“Some of the kids played who didn’t get much time last year,” he said. “There was a lot of maturity shown from last year to this year.”

In their second game, the Bulldogs lost to Montrose, 3-1, with the blue and white’s goal coming from Jose Loya. Montrose went on to win the tournament.

The third game of the tournament was an early Western Slope Conference showdown between the Bulldogs and Glenwood Springs.

The Demons took a 2-1 lead in the second half but Moffat County came back to tie it, 2-2. Goals from senior Brad Hurd and junior Hugo Quezada weren’t enough as the Demons scored late into the second half to take the 3-2 win.

“We were still attacking to the last second against Glenwood,” Havrilla said. “This early in the season, fatigue can play a factor but even after two hard-fought games, the guys still had some left.”

Glenwood was listed as the team to beat in the Western Slope Conference by both Front Range newspapers and if that’s the case, Havrilla’s team is where they want to be.

“To me, Steamboat is always the team to beat,” he said. “But if Glenwood is supposed to be the top, then we are right were we want to be.”

Steamboat Springs and the Bulldogs, because of a schedule change, are on course for a rematch from last year’s 1-0 MCHS victory.

The game will be Thursday at Lowdy-Simpson field.

“We’re coming out of the tournament with some confidence,” Havrilla said. “I’m glad we get to play Steamboat earlier than scheduled and I know they are anxious to play us after last year.”

One aspect of the team the Bulldogs were anxious about going into the season was their goalie situation. But, after watching Malcom Hillewaert and Tucker Billodeau in goal at the tournament, Havrilla had some reassurance.

“I think they are both going to do well,” he said.

While the Bulldogs didn’t take home any trophies from the tournament they were awarded the sportsmanship award, something Havrilla takes pride in just as much as wins.

“Our game is one modeled after sportsmanship,” he said. “It was nice to see the guys play clean but smart, just as they were taught.”

The Bulldogs will slip on the shin guards Thursday for a Western Slope Conference opener that could be one of the biggest games of the season against Steamboat Springs, varsity at 4 p.m. and junior varsity after that.

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