Aspen boys soccer tops Front Range power of St. Mary’s 3-1 | AspenTimes.com

Aspen boys soccer tops Front Range power of St. Mary’s 3-1

Aspen Times Staff Report

Playing with newfound confidence, the Aspen High boys soccer team knocked off St. Mary’s of Colorado Springs 3-1 on Saturday at the AHS field.

Sophomore Carlos Rojas scored two goals and senior Owen Leeper had one. Sophomore goalie Tyler Baker recorded the win in net.

“Our guys are definitely getting up for the battle,” said Grant “Junior” Sutherland, who coaches Aspen with John Gillies. “We’re getting involved and mixing it up. Our passing game is there and we’re starting to play for each other now. The confidence is building.”

Through halftime, Aspen and St. Mary’s were tied at 1-1. Leeper’s goal in the second half gave Aspen the lead and Rojas’ second goal sealed it.

“They’re working hard, moving the ball and using their opportunities,” Sutherland continued. “To be truthful, if we can start clicking completely, I think we can compete with anyone. It’s just a matter of getting to that level.”

And by beating St. Mary’s, a perennial power like most of the teams from the Front Range, Aspen has a better gauge of its own abilities. “With the Denver teams, you know what you’re up against ? a physical game. It’s just good to get competition against these Denver teams to see where you stand.”

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Aspen improved to 3-4 overall, and remained at 1-3 in 3A Western Slope League play. On Thursday, Aspen hosts another nonleague opponent in Paonia at 4 p.m. Paonia, a new team this season comprised of players from Cedaredge, Hotchkiss and Paonia, has beaten three of Aspen’s league rivals already this season: Roaring Fork 10-4, CRMS 4-1 and Eagle Valley 5-1, Sutherland said.

“Obviously they’re a good team, so you’ve got to go at them with respect,” he said. “It’ll be another good challenge for us.”