Loss ends soccer’s playoff hopes | CraigDailyPress.com

Loss ends soccer’s playoff hopes

David Pressgrove

By David Pressgrove

Daily Press Writer

In the 66th minute of the soccer game between Moffat County High School and Palisade High School, Eric Havrilla watched as his penalty kick sailed into the arms of goalie Todd Bondurant.

The missed penalty kick symbolized the offensive difficulties the MCHS soccer team faced Thursday in a 2-0 loss against PHS.

“We had the intensity and focus, just not the ability to finish,” said MCHS head coach Mick Havrilla. “We tried everything to get a score and nothing worked today.”

Trailing 1-0 in the second half, Havrilla said he was moving the team back and forth from a 5-4-1 to a 4-4-2. As Moffat County switched in and out of a control style and attack style of play, the strategy led to opportunities as MCHS out-shot Palisade, 11-3. But all that mattered was the one shot that slipped past MCHS goalie Brandon Duarte and gave the home team a 2-0 lead.

“We had the ball on their side most of the game,” said MCHS defender Daniel Carr. “The end result was upsetting because, to have any chance for the playoffs, we needed the ‘w.'”

After spoiling Rifle’s chances for the playoffs Saturday, Moffat County took themselves out of the play-off hunt Thursday. The loss, combined with a Glenwood Springs win (2-1 over Rifle) and a Battle Mountain tie (2-2 vs. Steamboat Springs) settles the outlook for the WSC play-off teams. Steamboat and Glenwood sit atop the standings and can start making reservations for the post season.

MoCo players were unable to find a reason for their inability to finish and nixing their chance to go to the playoffs.

“There’s really no explanation for the loss,” said goalie Brandon Duarte, who watched as his team’s shots kept missing. “We had so many shots that should have went in but it just wasn’t meant to be.”

Eric Havrilla was still trying to figure out the offensive woes 30 minutes after the game.

Palisade won the Battle of the Bulldogs in soccer this season, earning its only two conference wins against Moffat County.

“Palisade was an improved team from the first time we saw them this season,” Mick Havrilla said. “It was just one of those days where we couldn’t do anything.”

Despite being eliminated from the playoffs, MoCo doesn’t plans to let up in its final game of the season against Glenwood Saturday.

“Glenwood and Steamboat are our biggest rivals,” Carr said. “We’ll get pumped up for that game.”

David Pressgrove can be reached at 824-7031 or dpressgrove@craigdailypress.com

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