Basalt clubs Aspen in finale
Aspen Times Staff Writer
With a 5-1 win over Aspen Tuesday afternoon at AHS, the Basalt High boys soccer team finished off its regular season without a single loss to a Class 3A Western Slope League opponent.
With two goals from junior forward Cy Eaton, Basalt – which clinched its third consecutive league title weeks ago, along with a berth to the Class 3A state tournament – took a 2-1 lead at halftime, then put away Aspen in the second half.
Basalt improved to 9-0-1 in league play and 11-2-1 overall, while Aspen, which had already locked up the No. 2 spot in the league as well as a berth to the state tourney, dropped to 6-4 in league and 7-8 overall.
Sophomore Felipe Sanchez scored one goal and had two assists for the Longhorns, and senior Dylan Ross and sophomore Alex Giglio scored one goal apiece. Eaton, sophomore Ben Pollock and senior Hugo Aroujo also had assists for Basalt.
“We just kept our passing up, had some good through-ball connections, and we were able to finish on a couple crosses,” said Basalt coach Erik Streff.
“The team played really well together, and I think our defense is coming together at the right time as we try to get ready for the state tournament.”
Aspen freshman Stephen Buzbee scored the Skiers’ only goal in the first half.
“Basalt played well,” said John Gillies, who coaches Aspen with Grant “Junior” Sutherland. “I think it was difficult getting motivated for a game that doesn’t hold any rewards, with the league positions already finalized.
“You’d think you could evoke some passion from the guys with a game like this, but maybe in the back of their minds they were thinking about the playoffs, saving themselves for that – who knows. All I know is that we’ll have to play a lot better in the playoffs to get anywhere.”
Basalt and Aspen will likely play their next matches on Saturday, Oct. 25, in the first round of the 16-team Class 3A state tournament. The state bracket, with seeds and dates, is expected to be released on Monday.
Basalt is guaranteed a home game in the first round of the playoffs, while Aspen will have to wait and see what the bracket looks like.
“Basically, we’ve got a lot of work this week so we can go to states fully fit and fully keyed in, so we’re ready to go to work when it counts,” said Aspen’s Gillies.
Added Streff: “We’ll just continue to work hard. Throughout the season we’ve had minimal days to have hard practices, so we’ll push the kids for the next week and a half to get them ready for the first playoff game.”
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User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
Perhaps, Radamus’ brief moment on top was a preview of coming attractions. He hopes so. Radamus certainly got the season off to a great start by finishing 27th in the opener.