Tigers celebrate soccer win over Central
Gatorade baths are usually reserved for the highest order of champions.
So in the Grand Junction High School boys soccer team’s four-win season, occasions worthy of one are few and far between.
But when senior captain Ryan Gibb watched Sebastian Glasoff seal the 2-1 victory over Central in stoppage time at Walker Field on Monday, he was thinking one thing:
“(The Gatorade bath) would have been really, really lame if we lost,” Gibb said. “We had it planned before the game, and Sebastian always went wide, and finally he put it in. I was thinking finally, we did it.”
The Tigers (4-10-1, 3-6-1 Southwestern League) drenched coach Stephen Latta, capping a league schedule full of growing pains. Sixteen of the 22 players on Grand Junction’s varsity roster are freshmen or sophomores. Gibb, a Dixie State (Utah) College commit, is one of two seniors.
“I don’t know how justified the celebration was with our record this season, but honestly that was a big morale boost for us,” Latta said. “Not only that, but I’ve been telling the boys, some of them might have been getting frustrated over how we’ve been playing lately.
“We’ve been hanging with some of the older teams, whether it’s Durango or Montrose. We’ve hung with them early in the game and then tapered off at the end. This win helps them have faith in the process.”
Central (5-6-2, 3-5-2 SWL) has struggled to get players on the field this season. Injuries have hurt the Warriors’ defense and left Central vulnerable.
Coming off their third game in four days, coach Doug Beach saw his team slowing down.
“I could tell that we were down a step,” Beach said. “We got tired at the end and that’s why they scored. That’s all there is to it. ... I knew this was coming, we tried to get them conditioned, but we’re beat up and we’re tired.”
Central midfielder Matthew Miller notched his fourth penalty score of the year. On a solo break, Miller was tugged down from behind before he got a shot off. He neatly tucked in a lower-right corner shot.
Miller is part of a two-pronged attack returning for the Warriors next year, along with Jacob Sabesta.
“Through all the injuries and players having to miss time, they came together really well,” Beach said. “What I love about this team is that they’re classy. They win classy, they lose classy. That’s an attitude I want to carry into next year.”