Roaring Fork soccer passes biggest test with flying colors, tops Coal Ridge
Glenwood Springs Post Independent
Two teams entered Thursday night’s contest with undefeated Western Slope League records. After 80 minutes and five goals that all went their way, only Roaring Fork left with a zero in the league loss column, downing Coal Ridge on their home turf.
In a fashion that is becoming all too familiar to the Rams’ opponents, Roaring Fork roared out of the gate to a trio of goals in the first 30 minutes. Two insurance goals less than halfway through the second half and Roaring Fork had asserted itself at the top of the league.
At 6-0 with three league games to play, the Rams positioned themselves to win the league for the second time in three seasons in dominating fashion.
“This statement of intent is what we want to do,” Roaring Fork coach Nick Forbes said. “This scoreline just shows that these boys are serious.”
The Titans were 2-0 in league coming into the game. They and Roaring Fork had played similarly against similar opponents, winning 2-0 against a Rifle team the Rams beat 3-0, but topped Glenwood Springs 3-1, whom the Rams devastated 8-0 in their first game of the year.
Both Roaring Fork and Coal Ridge entered their matchup 7-1 overall. The stage was set for a high-intensity shootout. The Rams decided otherwise.
“We wanted to come out strong and we wanted to keep it that way the whole game,” Roaring Fork senior captain Carlos Perez Rios said.
Perez Rios said the team had extra motivation after Coal Ridge won their spring season matchup, 4-3.
Forwards Perez Rios, Emi Magana and midfielder Ross Barlow each contributed to the early scoring, then Magana scored the back-breaking pair of goals in the second half just minutes apart.
The early scoring let Roaring Fork pick its defensive chances, Forbes said, but still watched his two forwards and many of his starters apply a full press for the entirety of the game. They pressured the Titans the full length of the field and didn’t give them many opportunities.
Roaring Fork’s athleticism has been hard to match all season, running their goal differential to a staggering +33. They have 14 more goals than any other team in the league and are tied with Aspen for the fewest allowed, despite playing three more games.
“A lot of the leaders on this team were part of the team that went to the state final two years ago,” Forbes said. “The motivation is there and you can see it. In the state final we got out-muscled a lot. I think they saw that and now they’re lifting weights and they’re making each other lift weights.”
The win put Roaring Fork in position to achieve its first goal of the season — winning league. But the way it continues to win shows its potential to achieve a second goal — going back to state and winning it.
Roaring Fork entered the game ranked No. 9 in Class 3A by the ratings percentage index. Coal Ridge entered in seventh. The only other Western Slope team close to those two is Vail Mountain, ranked 11th. The Rams meet the Rangers in a non-league contest on Oct. 19.
Roaring Fork concludes its league schedule by hosting Moffat County on Oct. 9 then traveling to Aspen on Oct. 12.
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For Basalt, one of the preseason frontrunners in the Western Slope League, Friday’s loss puts its playoff hopes in jeopardy, while Aspen’s loss to the Bulldogs all but eliminates it from postseason contention.