Basalt girls soccer clinches fourth straight league title | AspenTimes.com

Basalt girls soccer clinches fourth straight league title

Tim Mutrie
Aspen Times Staff Writer

For a fourth straight season, the Basalt High girls soccer team captured the Class 3A Western Slope League title.

Basalt clinched the league title Tuesday with a 9-5 win over Eagle Valley at the BHS field. Basalt’s 11th straight win moved the Lady Longhorns’ record to 9-0 in league play and 12-1 overall.

Basalt, Class 3A’s No. 2 ranked team according to a Rocky Mountain News poll, concludes its regular season on Saturday at Aspen at 1 p.m. “And if we win Saturday, I think it’ll be the first time we’ve gone undefeated in league,” said Heather Walker, Basalt’s head coach of three years.

Basalt opened Tuesday’s game with three goals in the first minute-and-a-half, Walker said, and Basalt cruised to a 6-2 halftime lead.

Junior Mariah Mulcahy scored the first goal, and added three more later. Senior Molly McGrath scored a pair of goals, both unassisted, and sophomore Ashley Eaton and seniors Stephanie Kemp and Lauren Flood all scored once. Eaton also contributed two assists, and junior defender Makenzie Holmes, Flood, Kemp and Mulcahy had one assist apiece.

Sophomore goalie Autumn Caughern recorded the win.

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“But she’s not real happy,” Walker said. “The most goals we’ve allowed in any game is two, so no one was really happy after the game. We just can’t allow that many goals.”

As league champ, Basalt is guaranteed the top seed from the league in the 16-team Class 3A state playoffs. Aspen and Eagle Valley will also advance, though the outcome of Saturday’s game will determine how each team is seeded for the playoffs.

As the top seed from the league, Basalt is likely to host playoff games in the round of 16 and the round of eight. The final four games and the championship game will be played at a neutral site in Denver.

Last season, the BHS girls advanced to the Class 3A semifinals, further than ever before in school history. And the year before that, in 2000, Basalt advanced to the round of eight.

While the goal remains to finish the regular season undefeated with a win at Aspen Saturday, Walker said the team is focused on the playoffs as well.

“We need to beat Aspen to stay seeded in a good spot for the playoffs, and by Saturday we want to get our defensive problems fixed,” she said.

“But I don’t think our success has gone to anyone’s heads because almost all our players went to Denver the last two years and both times we lost 4-0,” Walker continued. “That makes it easier to keep everyone working hard, even though we have been winning quite a bit. All the girls know that it’s a different game once we step onto the field with a Denver Metro League team. And it helps that we’ve been there before, because the last two years we’ve been nervous. Hopefully they’ll come out knowing we have to be ready at the start.”