Aspen soccer routs Moffat 11-3
The Aspen High School boys varsity soccer team returned to the pitch Saturday for the first time since its historic 1999 season and clobbered a Moffat County team 11-3 in the inaugural game at the new Moore Field.
From the opening tip, the Skier team – featuring just three returning starters from last year’s 16-1 team – dominated Moffat.
The Aspen team squandered at least six breakaway opportunities in the first 20 minutes of play, exposing Moffat’s weak defense and, as a result, the gutsy play of Moffat goalie Brandon Duarte, whose efforts barred the Skiers from racking up another ten goals throughout the game.
Striker Carter Hansen, left wing Jeff Flack, center midfielder David Blumentritt and stopper Duncan Delano all missed scoring opportunities in the early going. But not to be denied, their aggressive play set the tone for the minutes to come.
Blumentritt finally broke the ice about 22 minutes into the game. The German exchange student new to the Skier lineup this year took a throw-in and dribbled past several Moffat defenders before fooling Duarte and finding the back of the net for his first points of the season.
Blumentritt, whose name translated into English means “flower kick,” scored a total of four goals Saturday while demonstrating a paced and heady European style of play. The AHS junior drew at least three penalties against Moffat players seemingly on savvy alone.
Hansen notched the Skier’s second goal about 24 minutes into play Saturday. Hansen, on his umpteenth breakaway of the game, had an initial shot blocked by Duarte before driving home the rebound. Hansen celebrated the goal with a twisting front flip, a feat he repeated in the second half after scoring his second goal of the game.
At halftime, Aspen led 6-1, the sole Moffat goal coming off a penalty set piece 27 minutes into the half.
All 16 players who suited up for the game got a chance to play Saturday. Left back Jeff Brence – largely freed from the chores of defense – figured into the offense on many occasions, running switches with Flack. Brence notched a penalty-kick goal in the second half. Delano, Flack, and Matt Stege also added goals in the rout of Moffat.
After the game, Aspen coach Grant “Junior” Sutherland remarked that “the guys need to get some composure in front of the goal,” in light of all the missed opportunities.
“But it’s the first game of the season,” he continued, “and that will come.”
“It was a learning process for us basically,” Sutherland said. “And for the first game of the season, I’m pretty happy. … The guys were nervous.”
Sutherland singled out the play of Blumentritt and Delano. “Obviously, both of them were very solid,” he said.
“We worked hard during the preseason,” Sutherland added. “It was tough for them, but now it’s paying off. And their fitness should be peaking in the next few weeks.”
Aspen soccer plays its next match at home tomorrow at 4 p.m. against Eagle Valley.
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