Basalt soccer survives; Titans take down Aspen | AspenTimes.com

Basalt soccer survives; Titans take down Aspen

Jon Maletz
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

Jim Ryan/Special to The Aspen TimesBasalt's Hector Morales goes up for a header against Roaring Fork's Juan Portillo (8) and Antonio Madrigal on Thursday at Roaring Fork High School.

CARBONDALE – The Basalt soccer team cruised to a 5-1 victory over Roaring Fork in Sept. 2’s season opener. This time around, the Longhorns had a fight on their hands.

The Longhorns scored twice in the second half Thursday and held off a late surge from the host Rams to pull out a physical 3-2 victory – their sixth straight.

“This was a better team than the one we played a few weeks ago,” Basalt head coach John McDermott said.

“I’ve been bored on the sidelines [lately]. This was a game where everything was going on and the stomach was churning. … This is what the game’s all about.”

Sebastian Liuzzi converted a penalty kick to put Basalt (6-2) ahead early in the first half. Roaring Fork answered right back, and the two squads were knotted at one after 40 minutes.

Willy Salamanca, who recorded a hat trick Tuesday against Hotchkiss, gave the Longhorns the lead once more in the second half. Teammate Santiago Marciani extended the advantage, hitting the net with a well-placed header.

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The Rams (2-5) pulled to within one when they knocked home a deflection following a free kick with seven minutes to play. They could pull no closer, however.

“They played right up to us. It went each way – they got the momentum, then we got the momentum,” McDermott said. “The man of the match was Carlos [Palomares]. He kept the backfield together and was just brilliant. … It was a fair outcome.”

Basalt travels to Aspen on Saturday to take on the rival Skiers at 11 a.m.

ASPEN – With the return of key contributors like Will Bloemsma and Christian De La Cruz, the Skiers had their full compliment of players for Thursday’s battle with the visiting Titans.

Aspen played the 3A Region 3 leaders tight during a scoreless first half, but surrendered two goals in the second en route to a 2-0 loss.

“There weren’t very many goal-scoring opportunities for both teams. It was pretty much a battle-in-the-middle-of-the-park-type thing,” Skiers head coach Junior Sutherland said. “They probably started better, but we finished strong in the first half. It was pretty balanced all the way through.”

At least until about midway through the second half, when 10-0 Coal Ridge pulled ahead for good on a goal from Jorge Hernandez.

“We were pretty much chasing the game after that,” Sutherland admitted. “We were pushing and pushing trying to get the equalizer, and we got caught on the counter.”

The Titans’ Cesar Ortiz got behind Aspen defender Tyler Nelson later in the second and fired a shot on Skiers goalkeeper Jessis Andrade; Andrade stopped the ball, but Ortiz knocked the rebound into the back of the net.

“Our guys battled hard and played well,” Sutherland said. “They played with some passion and gave it a good effort, no question about it.”

Aspen will look to get its offense going Saturday, when it hosts Basalt. The Skiers have scored six goals in their last seven games.

jmaletz@aspentimes.com