Basalt boys soccer falls to Vail Mountain
EAST VAIL — The leaves are turning, which begs the question of whether Vail Mountain School soccer can turn orange?
The Gore Rangers did what they could with a 3-2 win against Basalt on Tuesday at Bandoni Alumni Field. VMS was No. 29 — 32 make the postseason — in the capricious rating percentage index, entering the game. VMS wraps up the regular season against Grand Valley on Thursday.
The strategy is win, cross collective fingers and hope the bracket comes on Sunday with VMS’ name in it, so the Gore Rangers can wear their traditional orange for the playoffs.
In the meantime, VMS looked like it was coming together against the Longhorns.
“Just the last few games, we’ve grown collectively stronger,” VMS coach Andrew Darbut said. “Everything out there is encouraging and positive.”
fast start, fast finish
Nathan Rouaud got it going for the Gore Rangers (4-8-1 overall and 2-4-1 in the 3A Western Slope League) with a cross that deflected off a Basalt defender for an own goal.
“The more you keep it in their end, the more tired they’re going to get,” Rouaud said. “The more pressure you have, eventually it’s going to come. You just have to be patient.”
Cameron Bill put VMS in a seemingly commanding 2-0 lead in the 60th minute. Basalt did not go quietly with Bear Matthews halving that lead in the 73rd.
Wyatt Hall gave VMS what would be some much needed insurance because the Longhorns’ David Leon found the net during the final minute.
“I’m proud of the way they rallied in the second half,” Basalt coach Brent Hayes said. “I wish we could have that effort in the first half. Had we had that effort during the first half and the intensity, I think we could have won this game.”
Hayes added that he thinks this loss sealed Basalt’s postseason fate. He said that he felt his team needed to win against VMS and then beat Aspen on Thursday to qualify.
“Hopefully, it’s not the last day,” senior Michael Resnick said.
Basalt was clinging to an RPI in the top 40 as of Tuesday evening. The Longhorns host the Skiers on Thursday in their regular-season finale. AHS, RPI No. 31 early Tuesday, closes the regular season on Saturday against Grand Valley.
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Strange is a word that will likely define the winter high school sports season. But, after numerous delays and endless doubts, that season is finally here. It will include fewer games, more masks and a lot of empty seats, but adapting to that strangeness is better than the alternative.