Moffat County soccer takes it to the Tigers | CraigDailyPress.com

Moffat County soccer takes it to the Tigers

Coach: Players showed great teamwork, skill in 4-2 loss

Moffat County High School's Ulises Silva protects the ball from a trio of Grand Junction opponents during the boys varsity soccer game Tuesday at MCHS. The Bulldogs lost, 4-2, to the Tigers.

The last time they faced a Grand Junction team at home, Moffat County High SchoolMoffat County High School boys soccer ran away with it from the start, but Tuesday afternoon was a much better all-around effort, if you ask their coach. boys soccer ran away with it from the start, but Tuesday afternoon was a much better all-around effort, if you ask their coach.

Moffat County High School boys soccer ran away with it from the start, but Tuesday afternoon was a much better all-around effort, if you ask their coach.

The Bulldogs fell, 4-2, to the 5A Grand Junction Tigers in a match-up that was closely contested and a fine test of Moffat County's skill set.

The 7-1 Tigers' Sam Flynn netted a goal after less than 90 seconds to create some early Junction momentum, but MCHS wouldn't be down for long, as Marco Hernandez booted in his own score off an assist by Axeel Mendoza to tie things up.

A high-energy crowd that included Moffat County volleyball players and the football team — the latter's warm-up area side-by-side the soccer field — kept the morale up for the Dogs, though the excitement started to wane as Flynn claimed another goal and Jake Chaffetz did the same off a successful penalty kick to push the Tigers further into the lead.

While not everything bounced the Bulldogs' way in the first half — literally in the case of a shot by Ulises Silva that ricocheted off both goalposts untouched without going over the line — Wyatt Nielsen found himself in just the right spot two minutes before halftime on a corner kick by Hernandez, Nielsen floating in a header shot to make it 3-2 at the break.

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Both teams battled in the second half and yielded little, learning from their mistakes and applying the knowledge. After inadvertently plowing through Tiger goalie Jose Ramirez in the first half, Silva redirected his velocity to vault over the keeper on a second-half approach on the goal that could have earned him a big foul for contact.

Getting a clean shot off just wasn't happening for Moffat County, but a late, final score from Chaffetz did not slow them down until the last tweet of the referee's whistle.

Goalie Daniel Moore also recorded 27 saves, and MCHS recorded 16 shots in the game, seven of which were from Hernandez.

"It was hard, but we gave it our all, we didn't stop," he said.

Any game against a larger school is one that can prove the strength of a team, and Moffat County coach Harry Tripp said the display of abilities was where it needed to be.

Likewise, a six-game win streak going into an event can be changed pretty quickly.

Tiger coach Stephen Latta said the early score helped set the tempo, though he added a win for the larger team was never a foregone conclusion.

"We definitely respect the opponent and that they can do harm, and (Moffat County) showed that," he said.

While Grand Junction meets Southwestern conference opponent Durango this weekend in the hopes of taking their hot streak to eight, the 2-3 Bulldogs travel to Carbondale to take on 3A Western Slope League opponent Colorado Rocky Mountain School.

CRMS has only one game recorded in a typically short season, a 6-0 loss to Delta.

MCHS won its first league game, 4-1, last Thursday against Grand Valley, a Bulldog total that likely would have been twice as great if not for a few missed opportunities, Tripp said.

"We'll dominate them when they come here," he said of the 0-5-1 Cardinals, who will be in Craig Oct. 15.

Between then and now, the level of play shown against Grand Junction is what Moffat County needs to keep going strong.

"We played good as a whole, there was no holes for us today," Tripp said. "When we went up, we went up as a team, when we came back, we came back as a team. That's the way it should be."

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.