Aspen girls tie with Titans on snowy field |

Aspen girls tie with Titans on snowy field

Jeff Caspersen
Glenwood Springs correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado

PEACH VALLEY, Colo. ” Just when things got interesting, Mother Nature intervened.

With 20 minutes to go Monday, Aspen and Coal Ridge were finally finding a little offensive rhythm on a soccer pitch already soggy from intermittent snow and rain. That’s when heavy snowflakes began blan­keting the field.

With 11 min­utes, 34 seconds left in regulation, the Titans’ Chelsie Ryan broke a scoreless tie, slide­kicking a shot past Aspen keeper Lindsey Ander­son. Less than three minutes lat­er, Aspen’s Kate Moyer drove home a free-kick assist from Maggie Mel­berg to knot the game.

That would be all, as the snow contin­ued to pile up and the officials ruled, with just more than two minutes to go, that con­ditions were too dangerous for play to con­tinue. The game ended in a 1-1 draw.

It was the first 3A Western Slope non­win for both teams, and neither Coal Ridge coach Brian Blair nor the Aspen girls were too thrilled about leaving with a tie.

“It’s tough, because I can’t lie to them and tell them the tie is how the outcome should have been,” said Blair, whose team moved to 4-2-1 overall and to 2-0-1 in league. “We played well and got that goal real late. At that point, you’re in survival mode and you really have to try to push it to the offensive end and hold it there. We kind of played on the defensive end the whole time and that’s just asking for disaster.”

“[Our girls showed] great ambition, great heart,” said Aspen coach John Gillies, whose team is now 4-0-1 in league and 5­1-1 overall. “They knew they had to get a result up here today, of some sort. So the girls were disappointed the game got called. They felt like they could take it and win it just through their passion and momentum.”

Though it took them a while to break through for a goal, most of the game’s scor­ing threats belonged to Coal Ridge ” including two mid-range bombs that struck the crossbar, one by Kourtney Mitchell and another by Audrey Asplund. Anderson did her part in keep­ing the Titans off the board, racking up nine saves and leaving the box several times to disrupt break­away scoring chances. The one shot she didn’t wrap up is the one that gave Coal Ridge the lead, and that was a bullet off the foot of Mitchell. Anderson made that save but lost grip of the ball. Ryan took advantage.

“She jumped on it and it popped out of her hands,” Ryan said. “I just went for it. I couldn’t have done it without Kourtney.”

Surrendering the goal seemed to ignite Aspen’s drive. The Skiers began putting shots on goal and clicking offensively before nailing the equalizer.

All in all, it was an odd day, particularly weather-wise. The game opened under a light snow shower, but that gave way to clear skies for the middle portion of the contest. And that was just about on par with how the rest of the day went in Peach Valley, Blair noted.

“It was weird weather,” he said. “It start­ed out with hail, then we had a snowstorm, and then we had dry weather. The field dried almost all of the way off and then we had a snowstorm that was two times as bad as the first one. That’s Colorado for you, at least on the Western Slope.”

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