Basalt blasts Aspen for 8th straight win
Aspen Times Staff Writer
A red-hot Ukare Sano scored her third consecutive hat trick as the Basalt High girls soccer team hammered Aspen 9-1 Thursday afternoon at Roaring Fork High School in Carbondale.
Shifted downvalley from Aspen due to snow, Sano’s hat trick, and another from Ashley Eaton, powered another decisive Basalt win. The Lady Longhorns have now won eight in a row by a combined score of 49-4.
“We just got hammered,” Aspen coach John Gillies confirmed afterward.
Basalt’s big three up front – juniors Sano and Eaton, and senior Mariah Mulcahy – each scored in the first half. Aspen senior Alex Bethel also scored to cut the deficit to 3-1 at halftime.
In the second half, the Basalt machine rolled: Sano scored first to touch off the barrage by Mulcahy, Sano (again), Eaton (twice) and junior Shannon Hutton.
“Ukare’s having a great streak here,” said Basalt coach Heather Walker.” Our passing game is great, they’re talking and working together, and a lot of girls have stepped up this year, Ukare being one of them. She’s been awesome.”
Freshman Maddie Hoffman recorded the win in goal as Basalt improved to 10-0-1 in Class 3A Western Slope League play and 10-1-1 overall. Aspen slipped to 6-5 in league play and 6-7 overall.
“I don’t know if it was sheer panic or what,” said Gillies, the Aspen coach. “We just never turned up and didn’t do ourselves any justice. But Basalt played great. They were good, and we couldn’t contain them. We looked very immature against them.”
“It was still a good game despite the score,” added Walker. “Aspen was strong, and we just got to take a lot of shots and [Corie Thompson] made some great saves. But they fought hard for the ball, so it was good practice for our girls.”
Basalt remains tied with Eagle Valley in the hunt for the league championship. The two tied in their first meeting this season, the only blemish for both in league play, and they meet again Tuesday in Eagle. The winner will claim the league championship and the No. 1 berth from the league to the 3A state playoffs.
Basalt has won the league championship going back at least three years, Walker said.
But Basalt first will face Montrose, a nonleague opponent, on the road on Saturday.
“We kind of lucked out having good games for our last three,” said Walker. “This Aspen game and the Montrose game will hopefully be a good set up for us on Tuesday.”
Aspen, meanwhile, is in a duel with Roaring Fork to claim the third and final berth to the playoffs from the league. Aspen hosts Roaring Fork on Tuesday at the AHS field (weather permitting).
“Everytime we look like we’re getting better, something like this happens,” Gillies said. “But it could just be one of those games. And as long as it doesn’t happen again on Tuesday, we’ll be all right. But we’ve got to perform against Roaring Fork.”
Tim Mutrie’s e-mail address is email@example.com
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