Led by sophomores, Basalt girls soccer looks to build off last season’s success | AspenTimes.com

Led by sophomores, Basalt girls soccer looks to build off last season’s success

The Basalt High School girls soccer team, in white, competes in a 2017 game.

For the first time since Andrew Huntsman took over the program, the Basalt High School girls soccer team will enter a season with legitimately high expectations.

"We want to do the best that we can and live up to our potential, but we don't want to get ahead of ourselves," Huntsman said. "We know there is going to be a lot of competition and we have to be ready for a lot of competitive games this year."

The Longhorns open their fifth season under Huntsman at 4 p.m. Thursday when they will host valley rival Roaring Fork High School on the BHS soccer field. Basalt is coming off a 12-5 season, the most wins since also getting to a dozen in 2009. It was the first double-digit win season under Huntsman, who coached junior varsity for two seasons before taking over the varsity team in 2014.

Basalt's 2017 season ended with a 3-1 loss to No. 3 seed Manitou Springs in the second round of the Class 3A state tournament. As the No. 19 seed, BHS knocked off No. 14 seed Salida in the first round, winning 4-0.

The Longhorns return the bulk of that team for 2018.

"I'm glad they got a year of experience. I hope that will help them grow into their roles and be leaders," Huntsman said of last year's large freshmen class. "I think there is a lot of talent all around the valley. I'm excited to have the group of girls I have, but I also know it will be a lot of work."

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Basalt had six freshmen play a crucial varsity role last year, and all have returned this spring. Taylor Glen, the younger sister of former Basalt basketball standout Michael Glen, finished second on the team as a freshman a year ago with 15 goals. Freshmen Caitlin Coon and Emma Day were right behind her with nine goals apiece.

While the Longhorns are sophomore heavy, they do have a few important seniors, including Cira Miramontes and goalie Kate Schrock.

Among the few losses from last year was Callie Card, who led the team with 17 goals as a senior. Card was the 3A Western Slope League player of the year as a junior in 2016.

"The hard thing is her leadership. Callie was a pretty adaptable player," Huntsman said. "It will be very hard to replace her, but we do have some talented girls from last year that will hopefully grow and we have a strong group of freshmen who will hopefully support the program in the future."

Basalt went 8-2 in WSL play last season, finishing in a three-way tie for second with Coal Ridge and Aspen. Vail Mountain won the league title before losing to No. 2 seed Colorado Academy in the second round of the state tournament.

Before next week's season opener against the Rams, Basalt will receive a good indicator of where it's at this weekend. The Longhorns head to the Front Range to play in a scrimmage against powerhouse Kent Denver on Saturday, a state semifinalist last spring. The Sun Devils won the state title in 2016.

Huntsman said the scrimmage would be a bit unorthodox with three 30-minute periods.

"It's our last little evaluation of the kids. We'll play a pretty competitive period then we'll mix stuff around to get a better view of our girls," he said. "Hopefully we learn a lot from it. They are a good team and they'll play good soccer and that's our goal this year as well."

acolbert@aspentimes.com

2018 Basalt High School girls soccer schedule

March 8 vs. Roaring Fork

March 12 vs. SkyView Academy

March 16 vs. Alamosa

March 20 vs. Vail Mountain

April 6 at Rangely

April 7 at Moffat County

April 10 vs. Coal Ridge

April 12 vs. Aspen

April 14 at CRMS

April 17 vs. Delta

April 19 at Grand Valley

April 24 vs. Moffat County

April 26 at Aspen

April 28 at Roaring Fork

May 1 at Vail Mountain

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