Montrose falls to Sand Creek in soccer playoffs

Hector Almanza, right, and Montrose controlled Thursday’s Class 4A playoff game against Sand Creek, but fell 1-0 to the Scorpions.

MONTROSE — For the majority of Thursday’s Class 4A first-round playoff game between the Montrose and Sand Creek boys soccer teams, the Indians controlled the ball.

However, a deflection in front of the Montrose goal allowed the Scorpions to score the game’s lone goal, ending the Indians’ undefeated season.

The No. 7 Indians (12-1-3) lost to No. 26 Sand Creek (11-4-1) 1-0 after Wednesday’s wet, cold winter weather postponed the game one day.

Under Thursday’s sunny skies, the Indians controlled the entire first half, applying pressure on Scorpion goalkeeper Roberto Aguirre and limiting Sand Creek to only a couple of shots.

The Indians had 22 shots on goal to the Scorpions’ seven and took 14 corner kicks to Sand Creek’s one.

“We possessed the ball 98 percent of the game,” Montrose coach Jim Pavlich said. “Today I saw beautiful soccer.”

The game went back and forth until the 63rd minute, when Sand Creek forward Donald Tafoya took a hard shot from just outside the box.

Montrose goalkeeper Jorge Rojas deflected the ball, falling to his knees a split second before Eduardo Hemandez followed the carom and sent it to the back of the net for Sand Creek.

The Indians pressed hard on offense, but could not create a dominant presence inside the box.

“We were hitting the ground too much, we couldn’t go in,” senior forward Hector Almanza said.

“We had our chances, we just couldn’t put it in,” senior Zach Nadiak said. “We just didn’t have the finishing touch.”

With seven minuets left, the Indians nearly tied the game when a shot by Saul Perez clipped the top of the crossbar. Aguirre, by the look on his face, knew his team had just dodged a bullet.

After the game, Pavlich reminded the Indians about their success,  winning the Southwestern League crown for the fourth straight year, something the team has never accomplished before.

“You’ve set the bar high for the teams to follow,” Pavlich said. “Now give me one last cheer for the season.”

Kent Denver 6, Rifle 2: In the first round of the Class 3A tournament, Rifle (7-9) trailed by only one goal at halftime, but gave up three in the second half to the third-seeded Sun Devils (12-2-1). Austin Hughes scored three goals for Kent Denver.

Faith Christian 3, Hotchkiss 0: Two goals by Jonah O’Keefe led to the Eagles’ Class 3A first-round victory over Hotchkiss (9-6-1).


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