Moffat County soccer picks up loss to Vail Mountain, win in Rifle
Bulldogs’ final game Thursday in Steamboat Springs
It’s been a season of ups and downs for the Moffat County High School girls varsity soccer team, and though they’ll close it out short of the playoffs, they plan to make their last game a memorable one.
MCHS was officially knocked out of postseason contention Monday with a 3-0 defeat to visiting Vail Mountain.
A win against the Gore Rangers, a 2A team that had yet to lose within the Western Slope League, would have kept the playoff hopes afloat for the Bulldogs, but the Vail school kept Moffat County girls at bay, although with plenty of resistance.
Forwards Delaney Baker, Alex Samuelson and Brittany Swindler continued to break through the defense, only for so many shots to miss the goal narrowly when not grabbed.
After the Gore Rangers’ Emma Hall snagged a score against Bulldog keeper Hannah Walker, the put-upon goalie increased her efforts, taking a shot to the face that had her sidelined briefly while Baker held down the fort.
Two more goals by Vail in the second half didn’t stop MCHS from keeping at it, but as coach Harry Tripp noted, “they just couldn’t capitalize” on being right in front of the goal on several occasions.
“Defense I thought we played pretty good, we mixed things up here and there,” Tripp said. “You win some, you lose some.”
On Tuesday, Vail Mountain parlayed their win back at home into a 2-1 triumph against Coal Ridge to completely sweep the 3A/2A WSL and claim the title.
The Bulldogs had a similar day on the road, taking a 2-1 win in Rifle, a welcome change from the previous match but not without its own struggles. The teams were tied up at 1-1 at halftime, and the pressure was on Moffat County to finish its conference play on a high note.
“We were knocking on the door left and right, I don’t even know how many shots Delaney had,” Tripp said.
Baker had provided one goal — her first in a week — and was determined to do some more damage. She was denied during the second half, but as the game went into extra minutes, she got on a breakaway only to have three Bears treating her like an intrusive Goldilocks.
“They just sandwiched her and took her out in the box,” Tripp said.
The resultant penalty kick by the Bulldogs’ top scorer gave them a happy ending.
“She wanted to finish it,” Tripp said of Baker.
MCHS ends the season in the WSL in sixth place with a 6-4 record. Overall, the Bulldogs are 7-7, their win total going above or below 50 percent with their last game, Thursday against rival Steamboat Springs.
“It’s a tough team, but we’ll just try to stay with them, battle with them, that’s all we can do,” Tripp said.
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