Central falls to Raptors

When Central High School’s soccer team took the field against Eaglecrest on Saturday at Long Family Memorial Park, the Warriors were determined to improve after their season opening loss to Glenwood Springs.

Although the Warriors eventually lost 1-0 in their home opener, coach Doug Beach was happy with the effort he saw.

“We played better than we did on Thursday and as long as we keep improving, that’s all I can ask,” Beach said. “They’re a tough team. We ran with them and they were scared. We just had one defensive breakdown and that was the difference in the game.”

The breakdown happened 66 minutes in, when Eaglecrest’s Jon Sawyer took a shot from inside the penalty box that slipped past goalie Conor Beach for the only goal of the game.

“I just didn’t fall the right way on that one,” Conor said. “It was hard because we played so well in the first 65 minutes.”

The Warriors didn’t get as many scoring opportunities as they would have liked and were out shot by the Raptors 20-10. 

“We didn’t chip their line like we’ve been practicing,” Coach Beach said. “Instead of the through balls, we wanted to chip them and that just didn’t work out.”

However, they didn’t make the same mistakes they did when they lost to Glenwood Springs on Thursday, when the Warriors were beaten by multiple corner kicks.

The team spent their Friday practice working on defending against the kicks, which paid off as they kept the Raptors from scoring on their corner opportunities, which Coach Beach called “a good thing.”

The game hit somewhat of a snag early on, as play was halted when a fan’s dog ran out onto the field.

“I just walked over and petted it and said it was my newest player,” Doug Beach said with a laugh. “That dog just loves soccer.”

The dog ran into Central’s defensive zone right as Eaglecrest was starting to move upfield with the ball.

As the goalie, Conor Beach watched the commotion right in front him.

“It was hilarious,” he said. “I didn’t know how they were going to play it.  I was just hoping it wasn’t a free kick right outside the 18-yard line, where the ball was.”

After a few minutes, the energetic dog was back on sidelines and play resumed.

In the closing minutes, Central made a final push to score, but wasn’t able to get the ball past Eaglecrest’s Cody Vergola.


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