Delta High School soccer

Fernando Santillan Ponce (19) matches skills with an unidentified Colorado Rocky Mountain School defender as they battle for control of the ball in last Tuesday’s, Sept. 24, soccer match in Delta. The Panthers came on strong in the second half to score a 5-1 decision over the Oysters.

Delta’s week began with success on the soccer field in the Sept. 24 5-1 win over visiting Colorado Rocky Mountain School. The Panthers were stunned Sept. 28, on an extremely controversial penalty call giving Salida High School’s Spartans a direct penalty kick, which was converted, for a 2-1 double overtime victory for Class 3A’s No. 1 team. Delta, ranked third, suffered its second loss of the season and fell to 7-2, 1-0. Salida stays unbeaten (8-0, 1-0).

Against Colorado Rocky Mountain School, the Panthers used constant pressure to wear down the visiting Oysters leading to a 2-1 halftime lead. Delta continued to hold momentum and breezed through a 3-0 advantage in the second frame for its 5-1 win. CRMS leads the 2A WSL standings with 3-2-1, 2-0 records.

Senior Martin Corral paced Delta’s offense with three goals and an assist. Corral received help in securing a victory with senior Ku Moo and junior Sean Maulhardt scoring a goal apiece.

Senior Jarett Hernandez had two assists against CRMS with Maulhardt and senior Nathan Downey doling out an assist each.

Senior Felipe Bedoy allowed one goal and kept five attempted goals from reaching the net.

Saturday’s Game of the Week between third-ranked Delta and first-ranked Salida was everything it was advertised. Two solid teams pushing and shoving from one end of the field to the other made for an exciting game for fans on both sides of the field.

Delta scored first in the contest on a penalty kick at 27:44 left in the second half. Twelve minutes later the Spartans got lucky on a kick that bounced high over Bedoy’s head landing in the back, right corner of the net. The score remained tied from the 15:40 mark through the remainder of regulation play forcing overtime.

Although the energy and effort were there, neither team had definite clear-cut scoring angles in the first overtime period to force a second overtime.

A steady westerly wind plagued both teams in the final two periods making passing and long shots a guessing game at times. As the second overtime wound down, a contact penalty inside the penalty box zone was called by a side judge. Following a fruitless discussion between officials, the call stood and Salida got the ball past Bedoy for the winning goal.

There was spirited discussion following the game between officials and coaches with no resolution to the satisfaction of the Delta coaching staff. Losses sometimes become the road to more successes.

Delta moved on to its next contest in Parachute, against Grand Valley’s Cardinals Oct. 1. A Thursday, Oct. 3, battle looms against Roaring Fork, a team the Panthers defeated 1-0 in double overtime on Sept. 14 in Carbondale. The rematch will be played, again, in Carbondale and will count in 3A WSL standings this time around. The Rams are in second place in league standings with 5-1-1, 1-0 records. The Panthers are in Telluride (0-1, 5-2-1) on Oct. 8 to face the Miners in a 4 p.m. contest. Later in the week, Oct. 10, Delta will host Moffat County (0-2, 1-6) at 6 p.m.

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