Aspen girls soccer takes down Rifle, readies for wild final week of season
Skiers and Longhorns will play on Monday in Basalt
Once again, the Aspen High School girls soccer team was able to turn the intensity up a notch after halftime and rolled to a 5-0 win over Rifle on Thursday night under the lights on the AHS turf.
It’s the sort of performance that has become commonplace this season for the Skiers.
“A lot of the time we kind of set into ourselves and get used to other teams and start to play really well against them in the second half,” AHS junior Lucy McBride said. “We settle down and get into our rhythm a lot more. It happens in a lot of games.”
It continues to work out for Aspen, which was tested some early against Rifle but eventually pulled away for the win. Jenny Ellis and Lexi Cordts-Pearce had two goals each, while Mica Bodkins had the other goal for the Skiers.
“Having a shutout is always the best thing for a goalkeeper, so that was pretty good,” Aspen senior goalie Amy Amaya said. “I’m really proud of this team. We have come such a far way, a long way from where we started at the beginning. We are completing passes, we are finishing goals. We are doing so well.”
The league loss dropped Rifle to 6-7 overall and 2-4 in Western Slope League play.
Aspen improved to 9-1-1 overall and 3-0 in WSL play. The win came two nights after AHS had lost 2-0 at Class 4A No. 7 Steamboat Springs, a loss that ended the Skiers’ undefeated run.
Looking ahead, Aspen faces a busy and intense final week of the regular season, beginning Monday with a trip to rival Basalt. The Skiers will play four games — all league games — in six days before the postseason begins.
“Our team has done super well progressing over the season,” McBride said. “I think we’ve gotten a lot better. We’ve been working a lot defensively and offensively and I think we are ready. I think we are ready to play some big games.”
Basalt fell to 5-6-1 overall and 1-4 in WSL play after a 2-1 loss at Roaring Fork on Thursday. BHS played at Aspen as recently as April 20, falling 5-1 in the non-league game.
Monday’s rematch is scheduled for 6 p.m. in Basalt.
Photos: AHS girls soccer vs. Rifle
Aspen will then play at Delta on Tuesday before hosting Vail Mountain next Friday, May 6, in what should be the defining game of the regular season for both teams. Barring any shake up in the standings — at 4-1 in WSL play, Delta could be a team to provide some chaos — the AHS vs. VMS game will likely be for the outright league title.
As of this week’s CHSAANow.com poll, Vail Mountain is ranked No. 4 in 3A, while Aspen is No. 8.
The Skiers will finish out the regular season a week from Saturday at Roaring Fork.
“Coming up with Vail and Basalt, like Lucy said, we are ready,” Amaya said. “We are ready to hold them off. It will be a good game, it will be a tough one, but we are going to be ready.”
Aspen, Basalt baseball teams get wins
The Basalt High School baseball team won its fourth straight game on Thursday, rolling to a 12-0 win at Meeker. The Longhorns also beat Meeker at home on Tuesday, 11-4.
Aspen baseball won for the first time this season on Wednesday, an 11-7 victory at winless Grand Valley.
Next up, Aspen (1-11 overall) and Basalt (6-6 overall) will play a Saturday doubleheader beginning at 10 a.m. at Crawford Field in El Jebel.
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Like most high school sports programs across the nation right now, Garfield County athletics directors are seeing fewer applicants for open coaching positions. Five years ago vacant positions were filled within just a couple of days.