Boys soccer: Basalt, Coal Ridge play to 1-1 draw | AspenTimes.com

Boys soccer: Basalt, Coal Ridge play to 1-1 draw

Dale Strode
The Aspen Times

Basalt's Pedro Rivera (9) challenges a Coal Ridge player for the ball during Tuesday's Western Slope League soccer match at the Basalt High School field. Rivera scored Basalt's goal in a 1-1 tie.

BASALT — Stalemate.

The leaders of the Western Slope League boys soccer standings played to an end-to-end 1-1 overtime tie Tuesday afternoon.

Basalt 1, Coal Ridge 1, OT.

Basalt, with a goal off a corner kick by Pedro Rivera, held a 1-0 halftime lead with an eye on collecting a third consecutive conference win.

But Coal Ridge evened the score just 13 seconds into the second half when Sergio Valentin collected a long, wind-driven ball deep in Basalt territory and tapped in the Titans' tying goal.

For the rest of the 39 minutes and 47 seconds of the second half and for two 10-minute overtime periods, the Longhorns and the Titans paced back and forth through the midfield — matching each other shot for shot.

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But neither team would score, in spite of opportunities in extra time.

Basalt keeper William Cabrera made a point-blank save in the first OT on a shot by Coal Ridge's Alphonso Pacheco.

Titans keeper Roman Plano similarly made a big save in the second OT on a shot by Basalt's Javier De La Cruz.

"It wasn't exactly what we wanted," Basalt head coach Brent Hayes said. "But all things considered, it was a good game."

He said the tie was frustrating because the Longhorns had the lead and were warned at halftime about the gusty wind at the Titans' back.

"It was frustrating because 20 seconds before their goal I told (the Longhorns) to watch the wind," Hayes said, adding that the Titans pushed the ball to Valentin on the windy break.

"That's pretty good strategy. Send it to Sergio. He's fast, and he finishes," Hayes said.

The tying goal disrupted their rhythm in the second half, he said, although the offense produced a number of opportunities late in regulation and in overtime.

"Overall in the game, I think we created more good chances than they did," Hayes said. "They (Titans) are really good a controlling the middle of the field. They always have been. They have really good spacing."

The Longhorns matched the Titans in shots with 16 for Coal Ridge and 15 for Basalt.

Coal Ridge moved to 5-3-1 overall, 2-0-1 in conference.

"I'm happy. It's always good not to lose," Hayes said. "But it's frustrating because it's a game we weren't outplayed in by any stretch."

The Longhorns had won four matches in a row entering Tuesday's game.

Plus, he said, the tight scoreboard forced the Longhorns to play under pressure.

"It teaches you a lot to hang in a 1-1 game against a good team," Hayes said. "I think it bodes well for the rest of our season."

The Basalt boys soccer team (2-0-1 in league, 4-5-1 overall) will play at Aspen in an 11 a.m. game Saturday.

Aspen will open the league season Thursday at home against Moffat County. The Skiers are 2-3-1 overall.

dstrode@aspentimes.com