Moffat County soccer overtakes Aspen in overtime |

Moffat County soccer overtakes Aspen in overtime

2-1 Saturday win vs. Skiers follows 10-0 victory against Caprock Academy

Moffat County High School soccer players Wyatt Nielsen (19) and Tristen Walls (9) attack the ball as Aspen goalie Jake Bassi reels it in following a Bulldog corner kick Saturday. MCHS varsity soccer won 2-1 in overtime against the Skiers.
Andy Bockelman

An overtime win is something to be celebrated for any sports team, and while “to the victor go the spoils” stands, Moffat County High SchoolMoffat County High School boys soccer couldn’t help feeling for the losing side Saturday. boys soccer couldn’t help feeling for the losing side Saturday.

Moffat County High School boys soccer couldn’t help feeling for the losing side Saturday.

MCHS earned a 2-1 triumph in extra minutes against Aspen, its first game this season to go into overtime and one which was fraught with emotion.

A penalty kick by Micajah Prescott gave the Bulldogs the 1-0 lead at halftime, and as they and the Skiers went back onto the field, neither team was ready to accept defeat.

Aspen’s Edgar Ortiz kept the pressure up to get one past Moffat County goalie Daniel Moore and even out the scoreboard, and the Dogs’ usual band of forwards were giving the same effort on the other side of the field.

Josh Pando had a perfect opportunity in front of the box that went over the goal, but he kept at it with another great shot, this time, to the crossbar. Tristen Walls got the rebound and also sending it too high.

Heading into overtime, the rule was “golden goal” — first score wins.

“I know you’re tired, I know you’re hurt, but it’ll feel so good getting that winning goal,” said MCHS coach Harry Tripp to bolster Bulldog spirits.

The pep talk resulted in extra minutes that were primarily in Skier territory, and Aspen was suddenly beset by injuries, as Javier Coca went down in front of the Moffat County goal while on the attack.

Minutes later, Ulises Silva and Aspen’s Tyler Clayton knocked heads, sending Clayton to the ground. With no whistle by the referee, the Bulldogs kept going, as Axeel Mendoza took a shot, the call coming just in time to negate what would have been the winning goal as time stopped for the injured player.

Aspen looked to have an advantage with a penalty call and direct kick, yet MCHS kept pushing forward. However, it was a hand ball call against the Skiers’ keeper, Jake Bassi, as he barely passed the line of his domain, that won the game for the Bulldogs.

Bassi was sent to the sidelines distraught and replaced by a cold goalie. The ensuing indirect free kick scored off the foot of Marco Hernandez.

“Shouldn’t have come down to that,” Tripp said, urging his players to show good sportsmanship before too much of a celebration.

Walls said he felt terrible about the circumstances, though it was hard not to appreciate the win for his team.

“There were some bad calls for them and for us, but it’s the game,” he said.

Moore sympathized even more with his fellow goalie, noting the Bulldogs had to be extra vigilant in the close game.

“Toughest thing was marking up and getting our defense coordinated,” he said.

The win is the second in a row for the Bulldogs, who lost Tuesday 2-1 in Basalt. In that game, the Longhorns took the win in the final 30 seconds, despite a goal by Silva.

“We have to close those games, because we had more shots than them today and just couldn’t finish, same thing today,” Tripp said Saturday. “The intensity’s there, and that’s what I want. 90, 100 percent, whatever it takes.”

Friday, however, saw Moffat County well in control on the road against Grand Junction’s Caprock Academy, a 10-0 blowout against a school in their first year as a competing team.

Scoring against Caprock included a hat trick for Walls and one goal apiece for Silva, Pando, Mendoza, Hernandez, Juan Loya, Ricardo Borja and Robert Schmidt. Silva also had three assists, Hernandez and Mendoza two each and Borja, Max Rodriguez and Wyatt Nielsen one each.

Caprock will play in Craig Oct. 20 for the official conference game.

As far as Saturday’s events, Skiers move to 1-7-1 overall and 0-3 in the 3A Western Slope League, and Moffat County improves to 5-4, 3-1 WSL, which ties them with Delta for third place in the league.

Next up for the Bulldogs is a road game against Coal Ridge, a team smarting from their first loss of the year, a Saturday 1-0 defeat by Delta. The 8-1 Titans may seem daunting, but given the Dogs’ play lately, Tripp foresees potential.

“If we keep doing what we’re doing, little possessions here and there, I think we’ll be good,” he said.

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

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