Basalt tops No. 1 ranked Faith |

Basalt tops No. 1 ranked Faith

Tim Mutrie
Aspen Times Staff Writer

Basalt knocked off a giant Saturday.

After falling behind 1-0 in the first half, the Longhorns boys soccer team rallied for three unanswered goals in the second to beat Denver’s Faith Christian, the No. 1 ranked team in Colorado’s Class 3A division according to last week’s poll in the Denver Post.

“It was a great win,” Basalt coach Erik Streff said.

“We made a few corrections at halftime and the team came out and played even harder. Everybody came together as a unit and that pressure led to our goals.”

Faith Christian scored late in the first half on a penalty shot, but Basalt senior striker Spencer Cleveland tied the game at 1-1 early in the second half on a 16-yard shot into the netting on the far post.

“Everybody got real excited after that,” Streff said. “I was just trying to calm them down.”

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Basalt freshman Felipe Sanchez scored the go-ahead goal about 20 minutes into the second, a 25-yard chip to the far post assisted by senior Ryan Thompson. Cleveland sealed the win with about five minutes remaining, stuffing a rebound home off a cross from senior Brady Kahn to go up 3-1.

Making his first varsity start in goal, BHS freshman goalie Jamie Wirkler recorded his first career win.

“To win against Denver schools, especially a top team like Faith, I think it gives them a great confidence boost about what they can accomplish this year,” Streff said. “It shows the Western Slope is building some strong teams and can compete at the Denver level.

“They just need to keep things in perspective and keep that high intensity going; we can’t take any steps back.”

With the win, Basalt improved to 4-2 overall. (Basalt, the defending Class 3A Western Slope League champs, remained 3-0 in league play after Thursday’s 7-2 win at Paonia.)

On Tuesday at 4 p.m. at the BHS field, Basalt hosts Aspen (see related story).

“I think it’s going to be a tough game,” Streff said. “The last couple years we’ve built a big rivalry with them so we know it’s going to be intense.”

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