Rams run away from Prospect Ridge in second round of 3A state soccer playoffs
Special to the Glenwood Springs Post Independent
On an evening better suited for building an ark than playing soccer, the Roaring Fork High School boys soccer team shook off the elements and posted a convincing 5-1 second-round playoff victory over the Prospect Ridge Academy Miners on Tuesday in Carbondale.
The win moves the Rams into the Class 3A state quarterfinals on Saturday against Faith Christian, 4-1 winners over DSST: Green Valley Ranch in the round of 16 game played Tuesday in Denver. GVR beat Aspen in the first round on Wednesday, winning 1-0 in overtime.
“We started off slow tonight and put ourselves in a little hole, but our experience showed through,” Roaring Fork coach Nick Forbes said. “We have players that have been in these situations before.”
Roaring Fork junior forward Emi Magana turned in a night to remember for the Rams on Tuesday, scoring four goals to help propel an attacking offense that spent much of the evening on the Prospect Ridge side of the field and peppering Miner goalkeeper Andrew Cuss with a relentless barrage of shots.
Before the Rams would reel off five unanswered goals to claim the easy win, it was the Miners who got on the scoreboard first on a goal by sophomore midfielder Parker Brown at the 29:07 mark of the first half.
Roaring Fork was put on its heels early, but the feeling wouldn’t last long.
With some nifty footwork and ball handling at his disposal, sophomore Josh Hernandez drew the Rams even just minutes later by slicing a kick from the corner into the Miner goal at the north end of the Carbondale Middle School field. It was then Magana’s turn to score goals at the 14:35 and 3:03 junctures of the half to give Roaring Fork a comfortable 3-1 halftime margin.
Magana picked up in the second half right where he left off in the first by floating a looping score from the center of the field over the head of the Prospect Ridge goalie to put the Rams up 4-1.
At the 22:52 mark of the second half, Magana knocked in a deflection score in front of a crowded Prospect Ridge net to give the Rams the final margin of victory.
Roaring Fork senior midfielder Ross Barlow had an opportunity to grow the lead late in the game, but his hard shot at the south goal bounded off the crossbar, denying the Rams an even larger margin of victory.
Roaring Fork takes a 14-3 overall season record into Saturday’s state quarterfinal game.
“A couple of the boys on this team were on the 2019 team that made it all the way to the state final. They would like to take it one step further this year, but all we are thinking about now is Faith Christian on Saturday,” Forbes said.
The fight was there until the bitter end for the Longhorns, but the hole that was dug was too deep to climb out of.