Moffat County soccer fights fiercely in first home game | CraigDailyPress.com

Moffat County soccer fights fiercely in first home game

Girls fall 3-2 to Rangely, play hard through cold weather

Moffat County High School's Sydni Tripp works to take over the ball during the girls soccer team's game against Rangely Thursday at MCHS. The Bulldogs lost, 3-2, to the Panthers.

It was fitting that on St. Patrick's Day, a team clad in green took a victory, yet the girls in white and blue had a little luck of the Irish, too.

Moffat County High SchoolMoffat County High School girls soccer lost its home opener Thursday. A grudge match against Rangely where the Panthers triumphed 3-2. girls soccer lost its home opener Thursday. A grudge match against Rangely where the Panthers triumphed 3-2.

Moffat County High School girls soccer lost its home opener Thursday. A grudge match against Rangely where the Panthers triumphed 3-2.

A chilly start to the afternoon at the Moffat County field didn't get any warmer, but girls on both sides used that as incentive to get their blood rushing. It was the Bulldogs who struck first, Nayeli Perez drilling in a shot after about five minutes of play.

With Hannah Walker back in the box, the defense at the Moffat County goal held up until late in the first half, when Rangely snuck in to tie the score. Moments later a miscommunication among home players during a Panther corner kick allowed the visitors to make it 2-1 headed into halftime.

Shortly after the second half began, the Bulldogs' Sydni Tripp went down hard, limping off the field with pains in her right foot, which was almost immediately followed by an increase in snow flurries and a third Rangely goal. This time coming off the heels of a corner kick as Panthers were able to swarm and take advantage of Moffat County miscues.

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"Little mistakes was what it was," said MCHS coach Harry Tripp. "We haven't really worked on corner kicks much. There's so much aspect to this game."

Perez kept going wide to score with no success, while Amairani Acosta and Candy Tarango were also on the attack, but it was Yahairi Alcantar who gave the Bulldogs their second goal of the day off a long boot that made it past Panther goalie Adrianna Lopez, shocking and delighting no one more so than the girl who kicked it.

"I didn't think it would go in, I just shot," said Alcantar, a sophomore. "It was my first instinct, 'Just shoot.'"

Moffat County's energy was reinvigorated from there, but the clock only had so much time left for them as they took their third loss, now 0-1 in 3A Region 3 play.

Tarango got one assist on the day and Walker had 22 saves, while overall shooting for Moffat County was at 15.

The latest game may not have been a win, but it was his team's best effort yet, said the coach, adding that while the frigid weather was nothing new, it explained some hesitance on offense.

"They get a little afraid of the ball because it hurts a lot more when it hits you when it's that cold," Harry Tripp said. "That fight was still there, and I don't want that to go away."

A road game in Basalt earlier in the week was rescheduled for the end of the month. The Bulldogs will board the bus for Vail Mountain on Tuesday. A game which the coach is unsure what to expect.

"They're a tough team, and we've got all these new girls who have never played on astroturf, it bounces differently," he said. "It's a learning curve, but they're learning."

MCHS soccer also will host Steamboat Springs next weekend, its last home event until mid-April.

After their first time on home grass, players are feeling more confident for coming games, particularly Alcantar.

"We're gonna win, we're gonna rock it," she said excitedly.

Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or abockelman@CraigDailyPress.com or follow him on Twitter @CDP_Sports.Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or abockelman@CraigDailyPress.com or follow him on Twitter @CDP_Sports.