Moffat County soccer sees renewed roster, enhanced attitude in Homecoming match | CraigDailyPress.com

Moffat County soccer sees renewed roster, enhanced attitude in Homecoming match

Moffat County High School's Spencer Najera leaps to take over possession from Colorado Rocky Mountain School during boys soccer's Homecoming game.
Andy Bockelman

Though it’s been a stop-and-start season for Moffat County High School boys soccer, the Bulldog mentality is at last where it needs to be, according to their coach.

After a lengthy stretch of away games, MCHS soccer was back on their own turf Saturday as part of Bulldog Homecoming, taking a 10-1 defeat to Colorado Rocky Mountain School.

The game was a rough one physically for the home team, their third competition in a week following dual 9-1 losses, in Basalt the previous Tuesday and Delta on Thursday.

However, the mindset of the group was better than it has been all season, said coach Nathalie Boelen.

“I am really enjoying coaching this team now. These boys want to work. Last year at this time, at 5-0, this team would have given up,” she said.

Boelen’s roster has changed repeatedly from the start of the schedule, between injuries, grades and more factors whittling down the list of eligible players.

Boelen recently recruited a handful of basketball players to join the soccer program, with Hector Salazar, Greg Spears and Josh Townsend suiting up Saturday. The adjustment with bringing in new talent who are still novices in the sport is a challenge, but a welcome one for Boelen.

With only 12 able to play during the weekend match, the Dogs kept up with the Oysters for the first 20 minutes, though CRMS started hammering the goal to take a 4-0 lead before a MoCo corner kick got the Dogs on the scoreboard with five minutes left in the half.

Canyon Chambers booted the CK, with Townsend and Erik Payan getting in position as a juggling act between the two resulted in a goal by Payan that bounced in the net off the underside of the crossbar, Townsend gaining the assist.

The Oysters scored a revenge goal immediately afterward, as well as five more after the break as the Dogs got increasingly weary in the second half.

In goal, Sabastian Hershiser was especially putting in the effort with 23 saves, including a successful block of a CRMS penalty kick.

“He’s such a better keeper this year. He’s been diving for stuff he wouldn’t have last year and working so hard,” Boelen said. “Yes, the score says we lost, but these boys pushed it and played until the very end.”

MCHS soccer, 1-9, will host its final home game, Senior Night, at 4 p.m. Tuesday against Coal Ridge, leading up to a Wednesday game in Steamboat Springs.

The season will wrap as the Bulldogs travel to Roaring Fork Oct. 22 and will be back in Carbondale two days later for a rematch with the Oysters.