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Saving grace

MCHS soccer preserves second-half lead to defeat 'dirty rival' Glenwood Springs

David Pressgrove

After senior goalie Brandon Duarte dove to make a save that preserved Moffat County’s 3-2 win over Glenwood Springs, senior Eric Havrilla told his goalie, “I must say that was beautiful.”

Havrilla’s quote sums up how the Bulldogs felt about their win over the Demons. A team they aren’t friendly with on or off the field.

“Steamboat and Glenwood are probably our biggest rivals,” Havrilla said. “But the difference is Steamboat is a clean rival and Glenwood is a dirty rival.”

During the post-game hand shake several Glenwood players exchanged words with Moffat County instead of extending their hands, which left the Moffat County coaching staff with unpleasant feelings.

“The difference between the two teams is that Glenwood is allowed to play cheap,” coach Mick Havrilla said. “They try to feel out what the referees are going to allow and then they go with it. There was some taking advantage of the referees out there today on their side, which I won’t allow from my team.”

Dirty or not, the Bulldogs were able to hold off Glenwood and keep a 3-2 lead the final 10 minutes of the second half.

The Bulldogs led most of the game and were up by two at one point after Eric Havrilla scored on a penalty kick in the 22nd minute to make it 3-1. Other goals scored by the Bulldogs came from sophomore Dustin White on an assist from sophomore Flavio Quezada in the 33rd minute of the first half and a running header from junior Brad Hurd found the back of the net in the 13th minute of the second half. Hurd’s goal gave the Bulldogs a 2-1 lead after the Demons tied it in the second half.

The Demons would get one more goal late in the second half with a shot that sailed just over Duarte’s hand and under the cross bar. MCHS was able to keep the Demons out of the net the final 12 minutes of the game for the win.

“After the score was 3-2 my insides were burning and my forearms were cramping,” Mick Havrilla said. “This was the first time I’ve seen three minutes take what seemed like 30 minutes.”

During those final three minutes the Bulldog defense was fighting off attack after attack by the Demons. Duarte made three diving saves and, on one play, Eric Havrilla made three stops in a row right at the entrance to the goal.

“I was on the ground amnd getting kicked in the side,” Havrilla said. “The ball hit me everywhere, probably including my hands during that sequence.”

The fact that the Bulldogs were on the defensive in the final minutes did not make coach Havrilla happy.

“You can’t sit back in soccer and play to preserve a lead,” he said. “We let our guard down a little and weren’t on the attack and that is what led to so many opportunities for them.”

Although the team may have taken years off of its coach’s life, it pulled out a victory and was happy to get a ‘w’ during its week in which it faced the top three teams in the conference Battle Mountain, Steamboat and Glenwood.

“We’ve finally got our bad habits from the past of blowing it at the end out of the way,” said junior Derrick Thompson. “We know we can win now and that keeps us fighting.”

Moffat County takes a break from conference play today as it travels to take on Roaring Fork. A team it knows little about but hopes to keep improving its game against.

“We’ve turned the corner on the season,” coach Havrilla said. “Now it’s time to keep the momentum rolling.”


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