Moffat County soccer holds nothing back in final game with Delta
Many members of the Moffat County High School boys soccer team found themselves in different positions Friday for their final game of the fall than where they had started back in August.
And, while a season of constant shifts hasn’t helped the record much, it’s prepared players to cope with change, watch each other’s backs and get ready for next year.
Bulldogs ended the season 2-13 Friday complete with a 5-2 loss to Delta, Moffat County’s third game in four days and their fourth in a week.
If fatigue was settling in, it didn’t show, at least not right away, keeping pace with the Panthers in a 2-1 opening half with Vlajko Pavlovic getting the Dogs a goal off a penalty kick.
And, when Guillermo Estecha knocked one into the Delta box five minutes into the second half, it looked like MoCo might finish their season with another W.
The next 20 minutes was a furious fight for possession, one which the Panthers slowly but surely won as a corner kick set up Martin Corral to put them ahead in one of the three goals he had for a hat trick. Moments later, the Bulldog defense had its depth perception tested when a floating Delta shot that looked nowhere the goal unexpectedly went into the net.
A free kick by the Panthers in the final minutes led to their last goal, with Matt Kasper knocking the shot in on the rebound after a deflection by Canyon Chambers.
The game was the first time as keeper for Chambers, who replaced Sabastian Hershiser midway through the second half.
Though the pressure in a new spot was on his mind, Chambers said the greatest challenge was the near flawless weather during the afternoon with the setting sun in a cloud-free sky right in his face.
“The sun really messed me up, I couldn’t even tell where the ball was most of the time,” Chambers said.
MCHS finishes seventh in the 3A Western Slope League, with 11-3-1 Delta securing runner-up status to conference champion Roaring Fork as well as good playoff position.
“They played really hard against a good team, I mean, Delta’s ranked in the state,” Nathalie Boelen said.
Boelen said her first year as coach for the program has come with a great deal of adjustments, which will ultimately pay off down the road.
Bulldogs will be losing seniors Axeel Mendoza, Josh Pando and Pedro Romero, as well as three exchange students who played for them this fall — Pavlovic, from Germany, Estecha, from Spain and Slovakia’s Alex Sabol.
With a lot of freshmen hopefully returning, Boelen said the amount of playing time they received can only benefit them considering many would have played strictly JV had the numbers allowed for it.
“If you look at our first game and you look at now, it’s been an amazing job the boys did,” she said.