Basalt controls Telluride in soccer playoff opener |

Basalt controls Telluride in soccer playoff opener

Todd Hartley

One thing was evident from the start as the Basalt High School girls soccer team hosted Telluride Saturday in an opening-round Class 3A state playoff game: the Longhorns were clearly the superior team.

But that was of little consequence in the first half as the Miners surrendered repeated scoring chances to Basalt but nevertheless kept the Longhorns off the scoreboard due to the outstanding play of Telluride goaltender Chelsey Padilla.

Finally, eight and a half minutes into the second half, Basalt broke the deadlock and then added two more quick goals to advance to the state’s Elite Eight with a 3-0 victory over the Miners that wasn’t as close as the score might indicate.

“It’s about keeping your intensity up even though you’re frustrated,” said Basalt’s first-year head coach, Heather Walker. “It’s extremely frustrating shooting and shooting and having it not go in. I’m just happy they kept at it.”

With their continuous pressure keeping the Miners on their heels, the Longhorns finally broke through in the 49th minute when Christie Thompson headed in a loose ball following a Lily Jensen corner kick. Ambere Cunningham also got a head on the ball, but Padilla denied the initial attempt before Thompson found the net.

The goal seemed to deflate Telluride somewhat, and the Longhorns were able to capitalize with two goals in the next six minutes.

“In a game like that, it’s tough as soon as you get scored on,” said Walker. “They probably put their heads down at that point.”

Just two minutes after Thompson’s goal, Cunningham tallied for Basalt when she fired a beautiful direct kick over the outstretched arms of Padilla and into the net from 30 yards out.

Less than four minutes later, Megan Macuen completed the scoring for the Longhorns when she took a nice feed from Cunningham and chipped it past Padilla to make the score 3-0.

Following Basalt’s third score, the Miners mounted their first real pressure of the game, but Longhorns goalie Tera Kielmeyer came up with a couple of nice saves to keep the shutout intact.

Despite the frustrating first half, Walker was pleased with the way the game went.

“That was good for us,” she said. “If we’d scored from the beginning it wouldn’t have helped us.”

Next up for Basalt, the No. 8 seed, will be a matchup with the state’s No. 1-seeded team, Kent Denver, an 8-0 opening-round winner over the Academy of Charter. Game time is set for 4 p.m. on Tuesday, May 16, at Kent Denver School.

“I think our chances are good in that game,” said Walker. “It’s all about attitude. The girls have been working the ball well and shooting well, so if we play our game we’ll be right in there.” Skiers come up short Things didn’t go quite so well for the Aspen Skiers in their playoff matchup at Denver Christian High School Saturday morning. Hindered by a rash of injuries and three cheap goals in the game’s opening minutes, the Skiers were bounced from the playoffs 6-0 by the Crusaders.

“The score doesn’t reflect the game,” said Aspen assistant coach Grant “Junior” Sutherland.

“We played great, but we gave three goals away in the first 15 minutes, and it’s hard to come back from that.”

Aspen suffered a huge blow in the first minute of the game when sophomore Lacee Patterson, one of the team’s best offensive players, went down with a sprained ankle.

Shortly after that, starters Kelli Dangler and Kelly Waldron also pulled up lame and had to be helped from the field.

That scenario, of Skiers playing hurt, echoed an unfortunate trend that dogged Aspen all spring.

“They gave all they could give,” said Sutherland. “They played all season with injuries.”

Though the season may be over for Aspen, Sutherland remained optimistic about the Skiers’ chances for next year. Nine players from this year’s varsity roster will be back in 2001, and they will be joined by a talented group of freshmen and sophomores who played for the Aspen junior varsity squad this season

In other first-round matches in the 4A playoffs, Battle Mountain dropped a 1-0 decision to D’Evelyn High School of Golden.

Colordo Academy scored eight goals to top Heritage Christian 8-2.

Colorado Springs Christian shut out Ouray 5-0.

And Faith Christian shut out Buena Vista 6-0.

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