Moffat County soccer stays tough in home opener defeat to Roaring Fork
For Craig Press
New coach, new players, new time of year.
Plenty of things are different this season for the Moffat County High School boys soccer program, but athletes’ willingness to work through changes has always been one of their strengths.
MCHS boys fell 5-0 during their home opener Thursday against Roaring Fork, a game that was encouragingly even at its onset.
MoCo soccer began its Season C schedule — being moved from its usual fall season to early spring by Colorado High School Activities Association — with a March 18 game in Palisade, falling 5-0. A week later, they took a 9-0 defeat to the perennial powerhouses Vail Mountain, also on the road.
The Bulldogs were set to host their first home event Tuesday against Aspen, though the game was canceled.
With the extra practice time afforded them this week, Moffat County boys were ready and raring for the Rams, and though they struggled to push the ball much up the field, the Bulldog defense was on top of things, contesting every attack Roaring Fork had.
At least for the first 40 minutes.
“They had a very solid first half. They really kept their composure,” said first-year MCHS coach Diego Quezada. “After that, I think they got worn out.”
Early in the second half of the game, the Rams began finding their rhythm and picking their spots.
MCHS goalie Sabastian Hershiser found himself getting weary as the Roaring Fork waves kept coming.
“The corner kicks killed us,” Hershiser said. “I feel like we were doing pretty good shutting them down, but the second half we all got tired.”
After crashing the net for their first few scores, the Rams settled for the long ball late in the game, forcing Hershiser to dive for every save, and though he picked up plenty, the ball made its way into the box twice more from just outside the penalty area.
All told, Hershiser earned 15 saves throughout the game.
The Bulldog senior has been part of the program all four years as well as the team’s starting keeper for the past two seasons. In that time, he’s been overseen by three head coaches, including the latest, who’s been emphasizing fundamentals as the team gets back in business.
“He’s been getting us into position, making sure we know what to do,” Hershiser said of Quezada.
With the season being altered from autumn to spring, the team did not know what to expect weather-wise other than the usual field sogginess incurred after winter. However, the recent heatwave and drier conditions made for a pleasant surprise.
“It’s a lot warmer than we’re used to,” Hershiser laughed.
Though nearly everything else is at least a little changed, the Bulldog goalie’s plans for what he wants this season have not.
“I’m looking forward to getting a shutout, that’s my goal,” he said.
The 0-3 MCHS boys have another home event in store this weekend, hosting a Saturday doubleheader with Gunnison, beginning at noon.
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