RIDGWAY – The Ridgway Demons boys soccer team have left a trail of destruction in their wake in their hunt for 2009 season supremacy, skillfully picking off any contender standing between them and the post-season.
Following last week’s successive toppling of Center and Bayfield, in away games that ended with Ridgway skating away with resounding 8-1 and 4-0 victories, the team has once again finished the regular season leading their division. Standing at the top of the regional rankings, above neighborhood rivals Crested Butte and Telluride with an undefeated 9-0-1 record, the Demons have for the second year in a row made a place for themselves in the state soccer tournament bracket.
They will face an as-yet-unknown rival in the upcoming State Preliminary game, to be played on Wednesday Oct. 28. As of press time, the Colorado High School Activities Association had not yet released final information on the State Tournament schedule; the CHSAA website will post the game location and the team Ridgway will face on its website, www.chsaa.org, on Sunday night.
The Demons’ illustrious reputation in 2009 follows closely on the heels of a memorable 2008 season, during which the team posted an undefeated record in the regular season – and only allowed 11 goals all season long. Finishing the regular season as league champions, the Demons won a berth into the state tournament. The Demons’ seemingly unstoppable momentum was stymied in the 2008 State Tournament, however, when they stumbled in the preliminaries and lost to the Aspen Skiers, 2-0, on the Demon’s home turf.
With the benefit of State Tournament experience on their side this year, the Demons hope to tackle their first-round state competition with the same dogged determination that has kept them on the winning track thus far in 2009.
“The guys have been working hard,” said RHS boys soccer coach Chuck Siefken, who has been with the Ridgway soccer program for the last six years. “They’ve been determined to repeat the success they had last season.”
Siefken said that he doesn’t know, for sure, how this year’s team will use their last year’s preliminary round State Tournament loss to their advantage in next week’s contest. “It’s a question I’m going to ask them tonight in practice,” he said on Wednesday. As the coach of a State Tournament-qualified team two years running, Siefken said his main objective leading up to next week’s game will be to help bolster his players’ spirits and their self-assurance. “We need to have the confidence that we can go out and win games outside of our league,” he said.
Winning next week’s game, and thus moving into the State tournament’s next round of competition, would be a big confidence booster indeed.