Aspen High girls soccer starts with OT tie |

Aspen High girls soccer starts with OT tie

The Aspen High School girls soccer team celebrated in the sunshine Saturday in Grand Junction.

After a preseason filled with snow and practices in the school gymnasium, the Skiers finally got to play a full game, outside, on real grass, under sunny skies.

And they played a little extra in the season opener.

The Aspen girls, after a slow start, battled back to score a 2-2 overtime tie in the season opener against Cortez. The match was played in sunny Grand Junction.

“We started off like deer blinded in the headlights,” Aspen head coach John Gillies said. “We’ didn’t have a clue to start with.”

He said the team’s first experience on a full outside field was daunting to start.

“But by the end of the second half, we showed what we could do. And we got a couple of goals,” Gillie said. “We’ve got to be pleased with the way we ended up in the match.”

Aspen’s first goal came on a corner kick, converted into the net by Julia Ely.

Arley Gordon scored Aspen’s second goal against the Panthers (0-0-1).

Jessica Coxon was in goal for the Skiers (0-0-1) in their season debut.

“She had an outstanding game,” Gillies said.

He said that the Skiers had the most opportunities in the overtime period, but they couldn’t convert.

“We had more opportunities. We’re OK. We have quite a strong defense,” the veteran Aspen coach said.

Cortez scored on a breakaway and a rebound goal after Coxon had saved two point-blank shots from the Panthers, Gillies said.

“We’re happy to be out in the sunshine,” Gillies said as the Skiers headed back to Aspen with a busy schedule awaiting this week.

The Aspen girls will play at Vail Christian on Tuesday afternoon.

Then, next Thursday (March 13), the Aspen girls soccer team will host rival Basalt in the home opener at Aspen High School.

The game is set for 4 p.m. Thursday at the Aspen High School field, which will be cleared of snow — weather permitting, of course.

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