Craig The playoffs are out of the question for the Moffat County Bulldogs soccer team. But the season isn't over.
Playing the role of David to perfection, the Moffat County High School boys soccer team took down Goliath on Tuesday night.
The Bulldogs defeated rival Steamboat Springs in double-overtime, 4-3, sending a shock to Sailors coach Rob Bohlmann.
"We came in here with the mentality that we wanted to finish the season up nice and tidy," Bohlmann said. "But our level of play wasn't acceptable. It was pretty uncharacteristic of us."
The Bulldogs (3-10 Western Slope League, 4-10 overall) used a stingy defense combined with the return of senior Oscar Ramos at Loudy-Simpson Park.
Steamboat (7-5 WSL, 10-5 overall) couldn't stay with Ramos and Bulldogs sophomore Tracy Mendoza, as the duo constantly broke the Sailors defense.
Mendoza broke through at 6:49 of the first half on a feed from Ramos, putting the Bulldogs on the board first.
Moffat County defenders Spencer Wayman and Cole Dubois dumped just about every ball that went into the Bulldogs' side of the field, but every now and then a Sailor would get through.
Steamboat forward Blake Eddington knocked on the door of the Bulldogs, but Moffat County senior goalie Ian Forgay answered.
Eddington was stuffed point-blank three times by Forgay - and the goalpost twice - as the Bulldogs took the slim lead into the half.
Forgay stopped another Eddington shot, and the quick transition to offense by the Bulldogs caught the Sailors off guard.
Mendoza raced down the field and fed Ramos at 11:30 for a staggering 2-0 Moffat County lead.
Mendoza went solo on his second goal, beating three Steamboat defenders - then the goalie - before scoring off his left foot.
"It helped a lot passing in the midfield to have Oscar back," Mendoza said. In the one-on-three, Mendoza said, he was "hoping to score."
Up 3-0 with less than 10 minutes left in regulation, the Sailors caught fire.
Moffat County coach Rusty Cox took Ramos and Mendoza out of the game to rest, and that was all the visitors needed.
With seven minutes left, Eddington finally broke the Forgay door.
The momentum had shifted.
Two minutes later, Josh Fix scored from the top of the goalie box, pulling the Sailors within one, 3-2.
"I've got to hand it to the guys for the way they came back," Bohlmann said. "It shows their character."
With the game in injury stoppage time, Steamboat's Daniel Wright was hauled down from behind on a breakaway, inducing a penalty kick.
Wright scored on the penalty, tying the game.
The first five-minute overtime period ended scoreless, and as the sun was setting in the west, the teams went to a second five-minute period.
Moffat County's Inez Quezada didn't waste any time.
His blast from 20 yards out hit the crossbar of the Sailors' net, right to where Mendoza was waiting.
Mendoza directed the ball off his chest and into the net for a hat trick - and the game-winner.
"I think they thought we were going to come in and lay down because of what happened when we played over there," Cox said about the Sailors' 6-0 home win Sept. 9. "But we aren't the same team as we used to be."
Moffat County visits Roaring Fork today in their regular season finale, while the Sailors await their playoff fate - seeding-wise - this week.
- John Vandelinder can be reached at 875-1793 or firstname.lastname@example.org