Aspen soccer stuns Basalt on senior day
The Aspen High School boys soccer team didn’t have much to play for Thursday against Basalt. Yes, it was senior night and it was against a key rival, but win or lose, there was going to be no tomorrow for the players.
Only, they didn’t play that way, shocking a Basalt team ranked No. 6 in Class 3A by RPI, sneaking out a 1-0 overtime win.
“It’s been a battle for us all season, but like I’ve said before, these boys have not given up in spite of everything, and I think that really showed tonight,” Aspen coach Dave Francis said. “They could easily have crumbled at some point in the game but they didn’t give it up. They kept working.”
Aspen, ranked No. 48 in RPI entering the game, made it to overtime scoreless thanks in large part because of a remarkable performance by goalie Jake Bassi. The Longhorns certainly had the shots to finish the game in regulation, but Bassi and the back row kept that from happening.
Midway through the first overtime period, the Skiers finally got the break they needed. A shot by Guillermo Flores bounced off the top crossbar and Alex Gordon found himself in position to knock in the rebound for the sudden-death victory.
“Some great saves from Jake — some great defensive efforts all around. And we got our chance and we took it,” Francis said. “It really came together. I couldn’t be more proud of all of them, but especially my seniors. Some of those guys I’ve coached for six years.”
Aspen finishes the season 5-9-1 overall. The Skiers won four of their final six games.
Basalt finishes the regular season 10-5 overall and now awaits its postseason fate. The 3A state tournament bracket is expected to be announced by the end of the weekend.
“Basalt, they are a really good team this year and they deserve to be going to the playoffs,” Francis said. “They deserve to be finishing high up in our league.”
Also Thursday, Aspen and Basalt went head-to-head on the volleyball court, with the Skiers winning 3-1 in Basalt.
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