Soccer: Aspen and CRMS settle for draw | AspenTimes.com

Soccer: Aspen and CRMS settle for draw

Jon Maletz
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

Jon Maletz/The Aspen TimesThe Skiers' Garret McNichol battles two CRMS defenders for the ball Tuesday at Aspen High.

ASPEN – Junior Sutherland had what he jokingly deemed a “team talk” with his players during halftime Tuesday.

The Aspen soccer coach was less than pleased with his squad’s play in the first 40 minutes against visiting Colorado Rocky Mountain School. He let his players – and everyone within shouting distance – know it.

“I have to be careful what I say here, but we definitely didn’t play as well as we could’ve,” Sutherland said. “We let them dictate the play and dictate the game, and we dropped a level.”

His Skiers got the message. They picked up the energy in the final half, generated the tying goal in the 57th minute and generated multiple scoring chances down the stretch. In the end, however, they had to settle for a draw – their second in as many games.

Aspen and Vail Mountain School tied Saturday. The Skiers (2-2-2) now are 0-1-2 in matches that have gone to overtime.

“They came out in that second half and battled hard,” Sutherland said. “They responded really well.”

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Aspen, which was quiet much of the first half, went on the attack right after the break. In the first four minutes alone, the Skiers had a shot bound off one post and then a well-placed corner kick that ultimately was knocked out of harm’s way.

They finally pulled even with about 23 minutes to play. Dylan Braswell sprinted past a defender on a run up the near sideline, and a teammate hit him in stride with a perfect through ball. Braswell calmly took a touch and then fired a hard liner past the outstretched arms of the CRMS keeper and into the far corner of the net.

Both sides had good looks at a golden goal in extra time. Sure-handed Skiers goalkeeper Maret Schwab snagged a hard line drive out of the air in the final minute of the first overtime.

CRMS had a free kick from about 20 yards out in the second extra frame, but the shot sailed well wide of the net.

“I thought three or four could’ve gone in (during the second half),” Sutherland said. “We just needed some luck or a break. … I’m proud of how they played.”

CRMS broke a scoreless tie midway through the opening half with an impressive individual effort. One of the team’s forwards chased down a ball near the end line and fired a shot from a difficult angle that sailed over Schwab’s gloves and clipped nylon.

“It was a bit of an unlucky goal – it could’ve gone anywhere,” Sutherland said. “The guys at the back were strong, and Maret is doing a really good job.”

Schwab and the Aspen defense likely will be tested Thursday when they visit rival Basalt. Kickoff is slated for 4 p.m.

jmaletz@aspentimes.com