AHS improves to 3-0 in league | AspenTimes.com

AHS improves to 3-0 in league

Tim Mutrie
Aspen Times Staff Writer

Aspen High School's Stephen Buzbee, left, keeps his head in the game to help the team's score against Eagle Valley. Aspen won in the ainy match 4-2. Daniel Bayer photo.

Behind three first-half goals, the Aspen High boys soccer team won its second straight league contest 4-2 over Eagle Valley in a frigid downpour Tuesday afternoon at the AHS field.

And almost immediately after, Aspen’s attention turned to Basalt – the team it will renew its rivalry with on Thursday at 4 p.m. in Aspen.

“We haven’t beaten them in two years now, so we’ll just slug away and see if we can give ’em a good run,” said Grant “Junior” Sutherland, who coaches Aspen with John Gillies.

Aspen, now 3-0 in Class 3A Western Slope League play and 3-3 overall, scored three unanswered goals in the first half Tuesday, courtesy of freshman Stephen Buzbee, sophomore Carlos Rojas and junior Gabriel Grisolia.

“We started well, playing some nice football, but then we sat back, took our foot off the pedal and let them back into the game,” Sutherland said. “But we were definitely wet and cold in the second half.

A second-half Eagle Valley goal cut the score to 3-1, but Aspen responded with another Rojas goal to go up 4-1. Eagle Valley trimmed the deficit to 4-2 with a penalty-kick goal with five minutes to play, according to Sutherland.

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“It is hard to play in these conditions, but it’s just their youth and inexperience,” Sutherland said of his young squad. “They don’t continue to pressure; they don’t know how to finish teams off yet.”

Sophomore Fred Barnard recorded the win in net for Aspen.

“Eagle Valley’s a physical team, big kids, and we’re young and small, and smart it seems, and we weren’t trying to hold the ball for too long – our players just didn’t want to get pummeled. But it was good for our guys, and they responded well to it,” Sutherland said.

Basalt, the reigning 3A Western Slope League champions, enter Thursday’s match in Aspen at 2-0 in league play and 2-1 overall. Most recently, the Longhorns beat Eagle Valley 3-1 on Saturday.

“It’s going to be tough,” the Aspen coach said. “It’ll be our third game in five days, but we’ll give it our best showing. We’ve had two good results now in our last two games and hopefully we’re not too tired to get another one.”

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