Preps: Aspen boys soccer upsets No. 6 Roaring Fork, likely secures playoff spot

The Aspen High School boys soccer team hosts Roaring Fork on Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021, on the AHS turf. The Skiers won, 3-2, against the No. 6-ranked Rams.
Photo by Austin Colbert/The Aspen Times

Brody Taylor’s free kick found net not even 10 minutes into the second half and was enough for the Aspen High School boys soccer team to upset No. 6 Roaring Fork on Tuesday.

The 3-2 win on the AHS turf should go a long way in locking down a playoff spot for the Skiers and it ended a six-game losing streak to their downvalley rivals, dating back to the 2017 season.

It also snapped a two-game slide this season.

“It does feel good. This team has always had that performance in them,” Aspen coach Dave Francis said. “When you lose that momentum it’s really difficult to regain it in that moment. But we’ve had a chance to regroup and talk. They went out there today and showed exactly what they are capable of.”

The teams went to halftime tied 2-2, with AHS goals coming from Sergio Ruiz Zuniga and Micah Sanders-Silva. Francis said he thought the Rams started to take control of the game toward the end of the first half but asked nothing more of his players at that point than to continue battling against one of Class 3A’s recent powerhouse programs.

That approach paid off with Taylor’s goal early in the second half. No goals were added over the final 30 minutes, which included a long stretch played in a mix of snow and sleet as the light faded.

“Shut them down — don’t give them any space and time to play,” Francis said of what he told the Skiers at halftime. “We felt like Roaring Fork had started to figure out the field. They were finding their range of passes. They were moving the ball. And they were starting to take some control of the game. Just told the guys to keep working hard. If they did and closed them down, then we’ll take whatever chances come our way.”

Roaring Fork, which entered the week having received a couple of votes to be ranked No. 1 in the classification, dropped to 10-2 overall and 7-1 in Western Slope League play. The Rams’ only other loss this season came 2-0 on Sept. 18 at Liberty Common, a team that is ranked No. 7 in 3A this week.

Gallery caption: Photos: Aspen soccer vs. Roaring Fork

Unranked Aspen improved to 6-5-1 overall and 3-2-1 in league play. With an RPI in the top 20 as of Tuesday evening, the Skiers are in position to advance to the postseason for the first time since 2018, when they made the state playoffs despite a losing record. The last time AHS finished the season with a winning record was a 7-5-3 campaign in 2017, which included its last win over the Rams.

The Skiers are off until playing Saturday at winless Delta. They close out the regular season next week with a Tuesday home game with Basalt and a Thursday road trip to Colorado Rocky Mountain School in Carbondale.

“It’s a great time for it,” Francis said of Tuesday’s upset, “and this will do us a lot of good as far as securing a playoff spot, first of all, and then finding a spot that gets us higher up in the numbers.”

Basalt (2-9) had been scheduled to play Tuesday at Moffat, but had that game postponed to Oct. 20, which now is the Longhorns’ regular-season finale. BHS next plays host to Roaring Fork on Thursday.

Aspen volleyball beats Coal Ridge, BHS falls to Delta

The Aspen High School volleyball team won for the fourth time in five matches on Tuesday, beating Coal Ridge in four sets inside the AHS gymnasium. After taking the first two sets by scores of 25-15 and 25-18, the Skiers let the third one slip away in a 25-20 loss but closed out the match with a 25-19 win in the fourth set.

According to MaxPreps, this was Aspen’s first win over Coal Ridge since at least 2008, which is as far back as the website’s records go. That stretch included at least 21 games between the teams. How far the losing streak goes back prior to 2008 wasn’t immediately known.

The Titans, a perennial league frontrunner, dropped to 5-8 overall, while Aspen improved to 8-4 with a 5-1 league mark. The Skiers are next scheduled to compete in a tournament hosted by Battle Mountain on Friday and Saturday.

Also Tuesday, Basalt played at league-leading Delta, losing 3-1. After losing 25-9 in the first set, the Longhorns answered by winning the second set, 27-25, but couldn’t maintain that momentum, losing the final two sets by scores of 25-15 and 25-13.

BHS coach David Chadbourne said Delta was the “best team we’ve played” this season. With only Rifle remaining in WSL play, the Panthers are all but assured the league title with all tiebreakers being in their favor.

Basalt fell to 8-5 overall and next will host Rifle on Thursday.

Softball season ends for Aspen, Basalt

The softball season came to a close for both Aspen and Basalt on Monday with the release of the Class 3A regional field, which left both teams off the 32-team bracket.

The Skiers finished 0-17, while the Longhorns ended 5-15 overall.