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Aspen girls blank Cards

Jon Maletz
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN ” As a ball bounded lazily into the Aspen zone Tuesday, two Skiers defenders closed in to corral it. Goalkeeper Lindsey Anderson called them off.

“Mine, mine,” the senior yelled as she rushed out of the net and scooped up the loose ball with two gloves.

With the Aspen offense dominating early this season, Anderson has to seize every opportunity she gets to touch the ball.

The Skiers controlled the pace early Tuesday against visiting Grand Valley, scoring twice in the first 15 minutes and four times in the first half. They tacked on two more in the second half and cruised to the 6-0 win ” their third in as many games this season.

“We’ve been putting the ball in the back of the net. It’s been good,” Aspen coach John Gillies said.

Aspen outscored opponents, 13-1, in its first two games of the season. That trend continued Tuesday, when the Skiers attacked from the first whistle.

They flooded the Cardinals’ zone early, generating multiple open looks from close range. Amanda Zalk broke a scoreless tie in the eighth minute when she crashed the goal, controlled a well-placed cross and tapped the ball home.

Haley Rinaldi hit Olivia Davis in stride little more than seven minutes later for another score.

“We’ve been working hard and playing really well,” senior Lizzy Eastley said. “This team has really good chemistry.”

Eastley got into the act in the 38th minute when she controlled a rebound near the far post and chipped the ball into an empty net. Brittany Marrs stretched the lead to four when, with an outstretched right leg, she knocked in a cross from Ruthie Prikyl. Prikyl scored five times in March 12’s season opener against Roaring Fork.

Five different Aspen players found the net Tuesday.

“There’s not one player that we take off the field that can’t be replaced by someone off the bench,” Gillies said. “We’ve got depth.”

The barrage continued in the second half, as Rinaldi, Davis and Kate Moyer narrowly missed goals during the first 18 minutes. In the 65th minute, Abby Cook dribbled past a defender and into the near corner before turning and firing a cross into the box. Eastley sped toward the goal and knocked the ball home.

Eastley had three looks from inside the box in the final 14 minutes, but could not record the hat trick.

“I was so close. That was frustrating, wasn’t it?” she joked. “I really have no complaints.”

Rinaldi deflected a cross with her toe in the 71st minute. The ball bounced off the right post, then slowly rolled past the goal line.

It was that kind of day for the Skiers, who travel to Vail Mountain School on Thursday, then host Rangely at 2 p.m. Friday before having a 10-day layoff for Spring Break.

“[In the first], we were a little lazy and weren’t thinking about what we were doing ” and we still scored four goals.” Gillies said. “That second was a nice improvement. It was impressive.”

jmaletz@aspentimes.com


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