Aspen boys soccer kicks off new season

Dale Strode
The Aspen Times
Aspen's Ramiro Perez controls the ball during Tuesday's match against Colorado Rocky Mountain College at Aspen School District Stadium. The Skiers won 4-2 to improve to 5-2-0 on the season.
Aubree Dallas/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.