Soccer team declaws Wildcats at home

Juan Gonzalez, above, played most of the first half in the Red Devils’ 2-0 win against Richfield.
Photo by Anthony Militano

The Grand County boys soccer beat the Richfield Wildcats 2-0 at home on April 4. The first half was fairly quiet. Grand had a few dramatic shots on goal, but the Richfield goalie was sharp and the Wildcats had a powerful defenseman who was not shy about using his head or body to control the ball.

Several times from the left and right side of the field, the Red Devils tried to center the ball deep in Richfield’s territory, but it was nothing doing.

Juan Gonzalez had a lot of playtime in the first half. Gonzalez worked it and played hard, but at all times there were at least two Wildcats who tried to thwart his advances in the middle of the field.

Jaxen Saunders scores for Grand in the second half against Richfield April 4. The Red Devils won 2.0.
Photo by Anthony Militano

The first half was a defensive battle. Grand had few shots on goal as did Richfield. Interesting note: Richfield avoided center field on offense and defense; the Wildcats constantly concentrated, attacked and tried to penetrate Grand’s defenses on one side of the field or the other.

The Red Devils, in contrast, typically brought the ball up the field on the sidelines and tried to scoot the ball to middle at point blank range from the goal. Richfield defenders did not mind playing deep in their own end. Grand always came out to greet any threats. The score was tied 0-0 at the half.

Nolan Ramirez tries to center the ball during a home victory against the Richfield Wildcats on Thursday, April 4.
Photo by Anthony Militano

Jaxen Saunders and Nolan Ramirez each scored for Grand in the second half. Cameron Hoppersteadt was the goalie and picked up the shutout.

There are four regular season games left for the Red Devils varsity soccer team. Ramirez is Grand’s top scorer with eight goals so far this season. The Red Devils as of Monday were 8-1-1 overall and 5-0-1 in the league.