Basalt, Roaring Fork fit to be tied | AspenTimes.com

Basalt, Roaring Fork fit to be tied

Nate Peterson
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

Jim Paussa/The Aspen TimesThe Longhorns' Chase Demeulenaere skies over a Roaring Fork defender to head a ball Wednesday at Basalt High School. The Longhorns and Rams played to a 1-1 tie.

BASALT ” With each blast on goal Thursday afternoon, Basalt forward Craig Riggins figured it was only a matter of time before he and his Longhorns teammates would pull away from rival Roaring Fork.

With each save, Rams goalie Anthony Flores and the rest of his teammates started to believe that a win was surely theirs.

In the end, both players had it all wrong. The clock had the last word when, after two 40-minute halves and two 5-minute periods of extra time, the match ended in a 1-1 draw.

Afterward, Flores and Riggins had decidedly different opinions of what had just taken place. In the case of a tie between nearby rivals, nothing less could be expected.

“We’re pleased with a tie, but we should have won,” Flores said. “That’s how the game goes.”

“We just needed one more,” said Riggins, who scored Basalt’s lone goal to knot the score in the 63rd minute. “You figured one of them had to go in.”

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At least more than one of the 24 shots Basalt poured on goal. The Longhorns dominated possession for nearly all 80 minutes of regulation while teeing off on Flores, but grew increasingly frustrated as missed scoring chances piled up.

The Rams, in contrast, continued to gain confidence as the game remained close. Especially after going up, 1-0, from a Basalt own goal in the 24th minute. The score came on a rare first-half run into Basalt’s half when the Rams’ J.R. Ackerman lofted a ball that Longhorns sophomore keeper Scott Riggins misjudged in the air and knocked into his own net.

“I whiffed on it, really,” Ackerman said. “It wasn’t a very good shot. The wind just picked it up and he tipped it into the back of the net.”

Frustrated by the sequence of events, Basalt began to press for the equalizer, which, in turn, led to more missed scoring chances. Shots sailed wide, high or zipped right into the hands of Flores. In the 58th minute, the futility reached comedic levels when Basalt had three point-blank shots on Flores right in the box, but all three were deflected before a Rams defender cleared the ball. The Longhorns weren’t amused.

A little more than four minutes later, Craig Riggins tied the game when he tapped in a well-timed cross from Austin Johnson, but Basalt only continued to press with time slipping away.

“I think we have a real patient defense,” Rams coach John Ackerman said. “We’ve been talking about the midfield coming back and supporting the defense and the kids did a good job of that today.”

The tie was Basalt’s second in as many games and Roaring Fork’s third this season.

After a scoreless draw against Vail Mountain School on Saturday, Basalt coach John McDermott figured his team was due to break out offensively. Considering how the defending 3A Western Slope champions controlled the tempo both Saturday and Thursday, McDermott was not discouraged.

“We just have to keep digging,” he said. “We’re there, we’re that close. We just totally dominated the midfield and their defense in both games. We just need to learn how to finish.”

In the first extra period, Basalt’s scoring woes continued. Senior Marshall Cleveland had an uncontested run on Flores, but pushed a shot well over the crossbar. Scott Riggins atoned for his own goal when, following a blast from the Rams’ Christian Campos, he snatched what would have been a sure goal out of the air.

Campos had another shot in the second overtime, and Craig Riggins had a nice chance in the Roaring Fork box, but Flores broke up the play with a slide tackle and the game ended less than a minute later.

Basalt ” now 0-2-2 on the season ” will look to get its first win when it hosts rival Aspen on Tuesday. Roaring Fork (1-3-1) next plays Coal Ridge on Sept. 18.

npeterson@aspentimes.com

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