Soccer team proud of season’s results
It wasn’t the way they wanted to end, but the pain of a 4-0 loss to rival Glenwood Springs in the final game for the Moffat County High School soccer team was numbed by the overall success of the season.
“While the score doesn’t indicate it, we played well,” said coach Mick Havrilla.
“No one hung their heads after the game because we remembered a good season.”
The season included team accomplishments, individual honors and a historic win. The team finished the season with a 5-9 record. The five wins equaled more than the total victories in the last five seasons for Moffat County.
“It was a different attitude this year,” said senior Mike Cammer. “We went into every game knowing we had a chance to win.”
Of MoCo’s nine losses, five of them were decided by one goal. The Bulldogs won three Western Slope Conference games, including victories over the top two teams, Steamboat Springs and Glenwood Springs.
“The win over Steamboat was something that I’ll always remember,” said senior C.J. Brown. “I’m pretty proud to be part of the only Moffat team to beat them.”
The seniors on the team hope that their legacy will stay with the team and the winning will continue to increase.
“The team has confidence now,” said senior Eric Havrilla. “With 14 juniors returning next year, they should continue to do well.”
Along with team accomplishments, several individuals on the team were consistently at the top of the state in a couple of categories.
For eight weeks of the season, Eric Havrilla and junior Brad Hurd were in the ranked in the top 25 in 4A scoring in the Rocky Mountain News. They slipped in the ranking the second half of the season when both moved to play a majority of their time on defense Havrilla finished 31st and Hurd, 64th.
Maybe the most notable individual accomplishment came from senior Brandon Duarte. The goalie finished second in 4A in saves with 153.
“I was really proud of the way everyone performed this season,” said Mick Havrilla. “We’re no longer the doormat and that will help us in the seasons to come.”
If the team is to improve next fall, it needs to find a way to win on the road. The Bulldogs were winless on the road in conference games, including four shutouts.
“I hadn’t really thought about how we had done on the road versus at home,” said Mick Havrilla. “Now that I think about it, we did seem to be a little out of sync toward the end of the season on the road.”
Moffat County came close to a play-off spot until the second-to-last game of the season. Palisade cut the season short of being one of Cinderella proportions with a 2-0 upset.
“Considering we went from no wins to challenging for a playoff speaks highly of our turnaround,” Cammer said.
Gearing up for next year with a large number of returning players who know how to win is an exciting prospect for Mick Havrilla.
“We’ve got kids that are ready to play and are aware of what it takes to win,” he said. “This year was good for Moffat County soccer and I hope we can build on that to make next year great.”
Cammer, who played his last game as a senior, was focusing on more of the short term: “At least people don’t make fun of us for being terrible anymore.”
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