After losing (to) Faith, Aspen tops Middle Park
After a frustrating loss to Denver powerhouse Faith Christian Friday, the Aspen High boys soccer team rebounded Saturday with a 2-1 win over Middle Park.
Aspen sophomore Coulter Vandomelen scored in the first half against Middle Park at the AHS field, and freshman Carlos Rojas made it a 2-0 game with a goal in the second half. Middle Park scored its only goal with about two minutes remaining.
Sophomore goalie Tyler Baker recorded the win. Aspen improved to 1-3 overall and remained 0-2 in Class 3A Western Slope League play.
Friday’s game vs. defending Class 3A state champion Faith Christian, also the No. 1 ranked team in 3A according to a Denver Post poll last week, opened with two Faith goals in the early going. Faith added two more goals before halftime, while Aspen managed just one courtesy of Vandomelen.
“We never really came out of the changing room till the second half,” said John Gilles, who coaches Aspen along with Grand “Junior” Sutherland. “We were using a different formation with wing-backs, but it never really worked without Reid Hansen [due to a red card vs. Eagle Valley Sept. 10] running the middle of the park.
“We reverted back to our original formation in the second half, the 4-4-2, and were the better team,” Gilles continued. “We couldn’t put the ball in the back of the net but we came away with a positive outlook.
“It’s so important to have a look at these Denver teams because these are the teams going to state, so it certainly gives us an idea of what we’re up against.”
On Tuesday, Aspen faces Basalt (see related story) at 4 p.m. at the BHS field. Basalt is the defending 3A Western Slope League champion and stands at 4-2 overall.
“We always look forward to playing Basalt,” said coach Sutherland. “It’s going to be tough, obviously. Basalt definitely fancies their chances this year, but we’ll give it our best shot. I anticipate it being a very physical game.”
A week after losing its home opener, the Gentlemen of Aspen Rugby Club made sure to remind its upcoming Mountain League opponents that it’ll still be a difficult test after a 52-31 win on Saturday over the Denver Barbarians.
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