Basalt blasts VMS, 3-0
VAIL – It was an archaeological feat equal to that of unearthing Pompeii that enabled Vail Mountain to host Basalt in girls soccer Tuesday at the field formerly know as The Bob. It has been renamed The Igloo.With a wall of snow 10-12 feet high surrounding the surface of the field, the Longhorns beat the Gore Rangers, 3-0.”It was good to get a win on the road,” said Basalt coach Chris Woods. “We did well for our first game of the year.”During the first half, Basalt bombarded the Gore Rangers’ Cely Brinkmann with 16 shots. About 15 minutes into the half, Basalt’s Alyssa Leslie collected a throw-in and dribbled in alone on Brinkmann. Leslie then slipped the ball into the right corner to give her team a 1-0 lead.Brinkmann kept the Gore Rangers in the game by making several diving saves.”We are playing in front of a mature, tough keeper who is a great leader,” said Vail Mountain coach Bob Bandoni. “What’s great about her leadership is that it allows the younger players to play without inhibitions.” Later in the first half, Basalt would double its lead when Katie Staerkel chased a loose ball deep into the left side of the Vail Mountain box and threw a shot on net that passed by Gore Rangers’ defenders and Brinkmann.In the second half, the Gore Rangers calmed down on defense and quelled the Basalt attack.”What I was really pleased with was the difference between the first and second half,” Bandoni said. “It looked like we had a week’s worth of training.” The Longhorns put seven shots on net in the second half, but many sailed into the hands of Brinkmann.”[Our defense] was pushing them more outside,” Brinkmann said. “That’s what we wanted to do so their crosses were cut off a little more.”In the waning minutes of the second half, Basalt’s Katheryne Fitzpatrick added a goal to seal the victory.The Longhorns’ Leslie walked into the Gore Rangers’ goal box, and when she finally met some opposition, she rifled a shot that was blocked by a Vail Mountain defender. Leslie quickly collected the ball again and sent a hard, quick strike towards the upper part of the net. Brinkmann’s arms popped the ball in the air, but it continued towards the net behind her and Fitzpatrick easily headed the ball home.Vail Mountain was playing without four starters, which meant those who did play saw tons of time.”I felt strongly about the gutsy performance of the players who stayed on the field. We didn’t have many substitutes,” Bandoni said. Bandoni enjoyed the scenery of the field.”It’s an exciting place to be, with the contrast of the green and the white. It feels a bit magical to have these 10-foot walls around us,” he said.With the snow banks piled up on the sidelines, the regular field lines were buried and the field was narrowed two yards on each side. But for Basalt, which has played indoors for most of its practices thus far, the field was still spacious.”There was a lot of space, and we’ve gotta get used to it,” Woods said.
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American giant slalom stud Ted Ligety won six times at Birds of Prey, be it five World Cups and/or gold in the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships, but we have to remember what a struggle it was for him to get there.