Basalt rolls Rams | AspenTimes.com

Basalt rolls Rams

Nate Peterson

The Basalt boys soccer team had 10 days to prepare for its homecoming game Saturday against Roaring Fork. The result of that preparation was arguably the most complete game of the season for the Longhorns (9-2, 7-0), who scored five goals in the first half and added another in the second in a 6-0 win.”It’s homecoming and it’s kind of the home stretch for us getting ready for the playoffs here,” Longhorns coach Eric Streff said afterward. “Ten days of practice did us well. We came out ready to play today.”The Rams, on the other hand, were a little sluggish to start the game, which led to a quick four goals in the first 22 minutes of play. After Basalt’s Felipe Sanchez scored his third goal of the game six minutes into the second half to give his team its sixth goal, Roaring Fork settled in on defense and held Basalt scoreless for the remainder of the game.The Rams (3-7-1, 2-4-1) never were able to make any sort of offensive push, however. Basalt starting goalie Jamie Wirkler didn’t see one shot in the first half, nor did reserve goalie Reto Luzi in the second. Roaring Fork’s best scoring chance came late in the first when junior forward Reyes Torres tried to catch up to a long pass in the goal box. Wirkler slid in to snag the ball before Torres could get a foot on it.”[Basalt’s] got great motivation when they start going and it’s hard to kill that momentum,” said Rams assistant coach Hadley Hentschel, who filled in for absent head coach Chris Woods. “We didn’t come out ready to play and they got on us quick. They play a great game. We always learn a lot after playing them.”The score could have been a lot more lopsided if not for the stellar play of Rams goalie Torrey Udall, who finished with 25 saves. The towering sophomore pulled down jump balls on crosses, charged Basalt forwards on breakaways and used great instinct to guess where Basalt players were lining up shots. Coming in, Sanchez said, the Longhorns knew that their biggest challenge would be to try and get balls past Udall.”Earlier on in the game, our coach was telling us we needed to keep it low,” Sanchez said. “That’s what we tried to do and we found some ways around him, but he’s definitely a good goalie. I’ll give him that.”Hentschel said his goalie did everything he could do to try and keep his team in the game.”He’s got just a tremendous presence in the net,” the coach said. “He knows where the balls going to need to go. They had a few shots where people fell through and it was just unstoppable stuff.”The first Basalt goal came in the fourth minute of action when Basalt junior midfielder Trevor Brown slipped a pass to Fransisco Hernandez, who did the rest.Freshmen defenseman Kyle Wood added Basalt’s second goal on a penalty kick in the 11th minute. Wood left the game midway through the second half after a big collision with Roaring Fork junior Omar Garcia. Both players charged on a loose ball around midfield and went sprawling after connecting with the ball at the same time.Streff said afterward that he didn’t think Wood’s injury was anything serious.”I think there’s a little bit of a bruise. He’ll take the weekend off and we’ll see how he is on Monday. Hopefully, he’ll be ready to go, otherwise we’ve got some people who can step up,” Streff said.Basalt’s third goal came in the fifteenth minute from senior striker Brett Boyle off an assist from junior Ryan Zubizarreta. The assist was Zubizaretta’s first of four.After that, it was the Felipe Sanchez show, with guest star Zubizarreta. Zubizaretta slid a pass to his senior teammate during a scramble in the Roaring Fork goal box in the 22nd minute and Sanchez fired a low shot into the right side of the net. Sanchez’ second goal in the 37th minute came in similar fashion. Zubizaretta charged from the right side, then passed to Sanchez when Udall closed in. Sanchez received the short pass and immediately placed the ball in the back of the net. “I’ve been playing pretty bad lately, but this game it finally came together today,” said Sanchez, whose third goal was also from short range. “I showed up for my homecoming game. I’m happy about that.”While Roaring Fork found itself in a deep hole early, the Rams continued to hustle and challenge for balls until the final second-half whistle. Senior Noe Duran and sophomore Alex Hernandez were the catalysts for shutting out Basalt in the final 34 minutes of action. Freshmen Diego Ruben and senior Samuel Gutierrez also played staunch defense. “I think we recovered really well in the second half,” Hentschel said. “We kept shots down and had a little more possession.” The Longhorns next play Tuesday at home against Paonia at 4 p.m.Nate Peterson’s e-mail address is npeterson@aspentimes.com

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