Aspen girls overpower Rangely, 7-0 |

Aspen girls overpower Rangely, 7-0

Jon Maletz
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN ” The drought is over.

The Aspen girls soccer team went 105 straight minutes without finding the net in its two previous games ” the latter a marathon 0-0 draw against Vail Mountain School. Friday against undermanned Rangely, the Skiers scored early and often.

Aspen scored twice in the first eight minutes, four times in the first 40 minutes and, on the strength of a hat trick from Ruthie Prikyl, cruised to a 7-0 win over a Panthers team that dressed just 10 players.

The win is the Skiers’ fourth in five games.

“They’ve got 10 men and traveled six hours. … It’s difficult to be ruthless and get that killer instinct and say, ‘Let’s get this one done and be home by halftime,'” Aspen coach John Gillies said.

They might not have been home after the first 40 minutes, but the Skiers were well on their way to a victory.

Amanda Zalk put Aspen ahead in the sixth minute when she tapped in a perfect cross from Kate Moyer. Little more than a minute later, Marissa Lindahl dribbled across midfield and passed ahead to Prikyl, who split two defenders for the score.

Prikyl shed a defender in the 18th minute, then drilled a grounder into the bottom right corner to stretch the lead to three.

The forward, who did not play soccer a season ago, has scored three or more goals twice this season. She found the net five times against Roaring Fork in March 12’s season opener against Roaring Fork.

“I didn’t expect this at all,” Prikyl said of her early-season success. “I’m glad about how things worked out. It’s going good.”

The Skiers took advantage of a Rangely gaffe to extend the lead in the final two minutes of the first half. After securing a loose ball, the Panthers’ goalkeeper dropped it as she jogged out of the net and was whistled for a violation. Haley Rinaldi lined up to take the ensuing indirect kick and faked out the defense by jumping over the ball, allowing teammate Olivia Davis to drill a shot into a vacant bottom corner.

Rangely’s offense struggled to keep pace, generating few scoring chances against an Aspen defense that has surrendered just one goal this season.

Despite the large lead, Gillies, upset with his team’s missed opportunities and periods of lackluster play, chided his players at halftime.

“I think we could’ve played a lot better,” Prikyl said. “Against teams like that, we sometimes stoop down to their level.”

“Sometimes it’s difficult to keep them focused,” the coach added.

That focus returned midway through the second, when the Skiers connected three times during a 20-minute span. Davis found the net for a second time in the 56th minute, before Lindahl and Prikyl hooked up once more. Lindahl hit Prikyl in stride on a run up the middle, and Prikyl confidently drilled the ball into the bottom left corner.

Zalk dealt the final blow with 5:30 remaining for Aspen, which now has 10 days off for Spring Break. The Skiers host Vail Christian at 4 p.m. on March 30.

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