Tie is a win for Roaring Fork | AspenTimes.com

Tie is a win for Roaring Fork

Tim Mutrie
Aspen Times Staff Writer

Aspen's Carly Rosen (24) wins the ball from a Roaring Fork defender during first-hals action at Aspen Tuesday afternoon April 29, 2003. In spite of two overtimes sessions, the two teams tied 1-1. Paul Conrad photo.

The Roaring Fork High School girls soccer team is headed to the Class 3A state tournament for the first time in five years, and the Aspen High girls are out for the first time in at least four years.

After battling for 80 minutes of regulation and 10 more of sudden-death overtime, Roaring Fork and Aspen remained deadlocked in a 1-1 tie in their regular season finale Tuesday afternoon at the AHS field.

After some calculations, discussion and debate among and between teams, and even with a degree of uncertainty, the Roaring Fork girls learned they’re going to the big dance.

Similarly, the AHS girls learned that their season is over.

And all that in a tie.

“I’m very proud of these girls,” five-year Roaring Fork coach Gail Rippe said. “I have a team with 11 seniors who have never been to the playoffs, and now they did it.”

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Basalt and Eagle Valley claimed the top two berths from the Class 3A Western Slope League to the state tourney, and Roaring Fork and Aspen were left to fight for the third and final remaining slot.

And because both teams finished with identical records in league play, at 6-5-1, the decision went to a tie-breaker based on head-to-head play.

That defaulted back to Aspen and Roaring Fork’s first match this season, a 6-5 win for Roaring Fork, which gave the nod to the Carbondale club.

“This is the first year that we won’t be going to the playoffs,” Aspen’s Kathryn Eastley, one of nine seniors on the team, said. “We’re all disappointed. We thought we were going to win today.”

Aspen opened the match in control, with senior Besha Deane scoring a dandy goal in the second minute.

Junior Lindsey Patterson touched off the movement from deep in one corner, splitting a pair of defenders with a pass that found senior Alex Bethel at the top, near corner of the goalie box. Instead of shooting, Bethel ripped a looping pass across the box to the far post, where Deane, crashing from the opposite wing, connected with a one-time volley past Roaring Fork goalie Jazz Leslie.

But the goal was not a sign of things to come.

For much of the match, neither Roaring Fork nor Aspen managed to settle into a rhythm on offense or find consistency in their passing games.

Roaring Fork’s Megan Zigel scored the tying goal midway through the second half, capitalizing on a bobbled ball in the Aspen back line and creating a breakaway on goalie Heather Jordan. Zigel’s close-range blast found the very upper right-hand corner of the net. Annie Leslie was credited with the assist.

“It was a tough year for us,” said Grant “Junior” Sutherland, who coaches Aspen with John Gillies. “We had two practices outside all year and you don’t get a lot of chances to correct your mistakes.

“We had our chances today but we couldn’t penetrate with any consistency,” he added.