7th Heaven for Lady Longhorns
An Iron Curtain defense kept the shutout streak alive as the Basalt girls soccer team clinched a seventh straight Class 3A Western Slope League Championship with their seventh straight win, 9-0, at Eagle Valley Tuesday afternoon.
Sophomore striker Maddie Hoffman scored a hat trick, and seniors Ukare Sano and Ashley Eaton combined for three goals and five assists.
Basalt, 9-0 in league and 11-1 overall, enters its final regular season contest at home against Roaring Fork, rescheduled for Tuesday at 4 p.m., carrying a 39-0 goal differential from the last seven matches.
“The main thing today was the defense,” said Basalt coach Chris Woods. “[Senior stopper] Maria Jacobsen just swarmed ’em – vicious, hard tackling. It was quite windy but we played our game hard.”
Basalt led 3-0 at halftime, then erupted for six goals in the second frame.
“I told the girls, if we can stay strong at the backs in the second half our offense will just turn it on,” Woods said.
Senior goalie Autumn Caughern got the shutout, her seventh of the season. “But she wasn’t really troubled,” Woods said. Eagle Valley dropped to 6-2 in league play (6-4-1 overall).
The streak of seven consecutive league titles predates all the players and coaches on the Basalt sideline. Junior varsity and assistant coach Heather Walker, who stepped down as head coach prior to this season, joined the Lady ‘Horns six seasons ago, after the team’s first league title. Woods is in his fourth season with the program after three years as JV coach and assistant.
“We’re pretty psyched,” said Woods. “But we didn’t want to get too excited about the win. We’re just looking forward to next Tuesday.”
Shannon Hutton added a goal and an assist, Sophie Stenstadvold and Katie Staerkel scored one apiece, and Meghan Stewart contributed two assists.
And the reward for all the scoring and defense? “I’m giving the girls Friday off to get all prettied up for the prom,” Woods said.
Aspen 6, Vail Mountain 0
Aspen senior Nicole Rodriguez scored a hat trick, and the Skiers stopped Vail Mountain 6-0 to keep their playoff hopes alive.
Taylor Buzbee, Carly Rosen and Merritt Gates, who regularly plays goalie, also scored for Aspen. Cory Thompson got the shutout in net.
“It was good that we scored goals,” said Aspen coach John Gillies, “and we got superb play from Hayley Ortman on defense.
“But it’s just a warm-up for the next two games, and we’re in a do-or-die situation.”
Aspen (4-4 league, 4-7 overall) hosts Roaring Fork (5-3 league) on Thursday at 4 p.m., then Eagle Valley on Saturday at 11 a.m. Vail Mountain dropped to 3-6 in the league.
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The 2020-21 Nordic combined season was supposed to be historic. This winter was going to be the first ever with women’s Nordic combined World Cup events, the first scheduled for Dec. 3-6 in Lillehammer, Norway.