Basalt rises up for fifth straight league title |

Basalt rises up for fifth straight league title

Tim Mutrie
Aspen Times Staff Writer

Shaking off Saturday’s 3-0 loss at Montrose, the Basalt High girls soccer team stampeded to a fifth straight Class 3A Western Slope League title Tuesday with a 3-1 win at Eagle Valley.

After tying 2-2 earlier in the season and winning the remainder of their league matches, Basalt and Eagle Valley entered the regular season finale with an equal shot at the championship crown.

But if the five-peat was ever in doubt, Basalt junior Ukare Sano quelled concerns early with a goal in the third minute, assisted by Sam Hoffman.

“We got started off right,” said Basalt coach Heather Walker.

Freshman goalie Maddie Hoffman “made quite a few great saves in net,” Walker continued, “and our defense in general kept us in the game.

“Now, we’re relieved – and excited!”

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With the win and the league title, Basalt (11-2-1 overall, 11-0-1 in league) earned a bye in the first round of the Class 3A state playoffs as well as the No. 1 seed from the league to the playoffs.

Eagle Valley (10-1-1 in league) fills the No. 2 slot while Roaring Fork, which tied Aspen 1-1 on Tuesday, claimed the third and final berth to the postseason.

Basalt senior Mariah Mulcahy scored the Lady Longhorns’ second goal of the day in the 35th minute, assisted by junior Ashley Eaton, as Basalt took a 2-0 lead at halftime.

Sano, who scored three consecutive hat tricks in Basalt’s three games prior to the nonleague defeat at Montrose Saturday, struck again in the opening minutes of the second half to put BHS up 3-0.

Eagle Valley, previously unbeaten in league play, managed its only goal in the 55th minute.

With the first-round bye, Basalt will have a week and a half off before opening the postseason. Basalt’s first game of the playoffs must be played on or before Saturday, May 10, Walker said.

“We’re going to take a little break,” the coach said. “The girls have prom Saturday night, so they’re pretty happy not to have to play a game on prom day, and that was definitely added incentive today.

“But we’ll be working on our passing and quickness, things that we’ll need to have honed when we start the playoffs.”