Skiers remain undefeated |

Skiers remain undefeated

The Aspen High School boys soccer team, the defending 3A Western Slope Conference champions, put its undefeated record on the line Tuesday against a gutsy squad from Colorado Rocky Mountain School.

And despite some costly mental lapses, the team kept its winning streak alive with a 5-2 victory.

The Skiers, 12-0 on the season (4-0 in league), came into Tuesday’s contest on the heels of two big wins over the weekend. Thursday afternoon, Aspen traveled to Glenwood for a game against a tough Demons crew that played the Skiers to a 1-1 draw in the first half.

Unaccustomed as they have been to close encounters this season, the Skiers rallied for three second-half goals to ice the win in what Aspen coaches Jon Gillies and Grant “Junior” Sutherland said was the best game of the season.

On Saturday, the Skiers hosted the Gore Rangers of Vail Mountain School in a one-sided league affair that saw Aspen cruise to a 5-0 victory. Nevertheless, the game was good for Aspen because it gave the coaches a chance to rest some key players.

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The game also provided a landmark in Aspen soccer annals when three brother combos played in the same game. The Steges, Michael and Matt; the Friedlands, Sean and Michael; and the Hansens, Carter and Reid, all saw action in the match.

On Tuesday afternoon, the Skiers came out strong and forced the action early, parlaying goals by Carter Hansen and Chris Erickson into a 2-0 lead with just 24 minutes gone in the game. But as the clock wound down in the first half, CRMS’s Chase Putnam picked up a loose ball in front of the Aspen goal and fired it home to make the halftime score 2-1.

Two quick second-half goals by Brendan Wynn pushed the Aspen lead to 4-1 before the two defenses took over. CRMS goalie Josh Stride and Aspen’s Tony Prykril each made a number of saves to keep the score unchanged until, with just eight minutes remaining, Erickson took a nice feed from Hansen and slipped the ball past Stride to make the score 5-1. Down the stretch, CRMS would add a goal off a misplayed ball by the Aspen defense to make the final score 5-2.

Next up for the Skiers will be the team’s final home game, tomorrow against Eagle Valley at the Aspen High School field (4 p.m. varsity start). The Skiers will wrap up the regular season on Tuesday in Basalt (4 p.m. varsity start) before heading for the state playoffs, slated to begin at the end of this month.

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