Aspen girls brace for BHS
Aspen Times Staff Writer
Since the stinging loss to Basalt last Thursday, the Aspen High girls soccer team stacked together three straight wins at home this week.
Yesterday, the Skiers topped Carbondale’s Colorado Rocky Mountain School 4-1, on Monday they won 4-0 over Vail Mountain and Saturday they downed Olathe 3-0.
But there’s no time for celebration. The focus has already shifted back to Basalt, the rival that will travel to Aspen’s turf with an unbeaten record in league play for a 4 p.m. kickoff Thursday.
“It’s nice to come off these wins and face Basalt,” said John Gillies, who coaches Aspen with Junior Sutherland. “We’re gaining strength with every game, repairing mistakes. And if we can get a few things sorted out in practice tomorrow, we’ll have a game with Basalt.”
Basalt stands at 9-0-1 in Class 3A Western Slope League play, tied with Eagle Valley at No. 1, while Aspen enters the match at 6-4 in league play. A win for Aspen would do wonders for their playoff hopes, not to mention confidence, while Basalt needs the win to set up a showdown with Eagle Valley for the league title and No. 1 seed.
In the teams’ first meeting last week at BHS, Basalt controlled play and dictated a 4-1 win. Aspen will need a more inspired performance this time around.
“It’s going to be the biggest game a lot of these girls will play and they need to rise to the occasion,” said Gillies. “Last time, we were happy when we were down one goal at halftime. ‘Oh, we’re doing well enough down one-nil.’ But that’s the problem: They need to have some belief in themselves that they can win.
“You’ve got to go out against Basalt with no fear, knowing you have the right to be on the same field with them.”
In Monday’s win over Vail Mountain, goalies Corie Thompson and Lauren Wenzel combined for the shutout. Senior Alex Bethel scored two goals and Carly Magill and Dana Fleischer scored one each.
Against CRMS on Tuesday, Magill scored first on a nice header and Lindsay Patterson added the second directly off a corner kick. “Straight in from a corner kick,” Gillies confirmed. “Perfect swerve on the ball, right in the back of the net.”
Making her varsity debut as a freshman, Carly Rosen scored the third goal and Bethel added the fourth with a deflected shot off a corner kick.
“It’s looking good,” said Gillies. “We’re bringing up a lot of these JV players to give us more depth and they’re rising to the occasion.”
Nicki Boelens is back with the starting defensive unit after an injury, Gillies said.
“We’re back at strength in the backs,” he said.
“But we have played seven games in two weeks, it’s ridiculous and the kids are tired, but we’re looking more and more match fit. And hopefully it’s all preparation for Basalt.”
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