Aspen boys soccer kicks off new season
The Aspen Times
The Skiers kicked off another season this week.
The Aspen High School boys soccer team reconvened Tuesday afternoon after a week away at experiential education and beat a stubborn and improving Colorado Rocky Mountain School team 4-2 at Aspen School District Stadium.
“We had one practice (Monday),” Aspen head coach Dave Francis said after the team was apart for more than a week for fall ex-ed trips. “But we actually trained pretty well (Monday).”
He said the Skiers knew they were in for a tough match in the opening minutes of the physical match.
“They were a strong team, a physical team,” Francis said. “They moved the ball. They were a little more than we were expecting.”
After pair of 10-0 and 8-0 losses to open the season, CRMS stunned the Skiers in the 15th minute of the match when Jack Huntington-Rainey scored off a corner kick scramble in front of the Aspen net.
“All of a sudden, we found ourselves in a tough battle,” Francis said.
But six minutes later, the Skiers pulled even when Jorge Esparza scored on a textbook give-and-go with teammate Joel Brice.
With less than a minute to play in the first half, Esparza collected another loose ball in front of the CRMS goal. His chip shot hit a CRMS defender and went into the net for a 2-1 Aspen lead at halftime.
The lead lasted only eight minutes into the second half. That’s when Jari Lindholm of CRMS scored to tie the match 2-2.
After pounding shot after shot at the CRMS goal, the Skiers finally took the lead for good when Erik Gagen scored on a rebound exactly halfway through the second half.
The 3-2 margin held until the closing seconds of the match when Aspen sophomore Guillermo Flores took advantage of a CRMS turnover and scored the Skiers’ fourth goal.
“They did what I asked today,” Francis said. “I wanted them to do the things that we have been working on … the things we need to do to beat really good teams.
The Skiers (5-2-0) face a busy schedule this week with a trip to Moffat County on Thursday and a short trip Saturday to play at rival Basalt.
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Chase Kelly, playing at No. 3 singles, won his first three matches before falling to Niwot’s Luke Weber in the final. It was the lone loss of the season for the freshman.