Basalt cuts down Aspen
Aspen Times Staff Writer
Basalt stunned Aspen with three goals in the first 15 minutes, including one looping-laser volleyed off the right foot of freshman Felipe Sanchez from 15 yards out, then stymied and jostled to dictate a 4-1 victory.
Three days after upsetting the No. 1 ranked team in all Colorado’s Class 3A, Denver’s Faith Christian 4-1, Basalt punctured Aspen’s defense early, with the strike from Sanchez in the second minute Tuesday afternoon. Four yellow cards were evenly distributed during the match as the rivals clashed in front of about 100 fans at the BHS field, and Aspen had its chances after recovering to form in the second half. But the early Basalt advantage proved cushion enough for the defending 3A Western Slope League champions.
“There’s that rivalry thing going on out there. We were at each other for sure. That’s how it always is and that’s what’s great about it,” said Basalt senior Spencer Cleveland, who had two assists, including the Sanchez goal.
Sophomore Cy Eaton added Basalt’s second goal in the 10th minute after a pass from senior Brady Kahn up the right wing. Eaton angled in on Aspen goalie Tyler Baker, and spun a quick shot off Baker’s left hand and in. Senior Ryan Thompson netted the Longhorns’ third goal on a penalty kick in the 13th minute.
“It was a hard-battling game,” said BHS coach Erik Streff. “We kinda slowed down a bit after the fast start, but you’ve got to give credit to Aspen ? they came at us hard.”
Aspen senior Nick Farrell cut the deficit to 3-1 with a goal in the 28th minute, an indirect kick from 18 yards out assisted by sophomore Carlos Rojas.
After switching sides in the second half, scoring gave way to defense as players in both jerseys hustled in the fight for the ball. Freshman BHS goalie Jamie Wirkler turned away a pair of shots in the 68th minute, back-to-back blasts from Aspen seniors Reid Hansen and Phil Salazar, before Thompson struck with his second goal of the day in the 75th to go up 4-1.
“They put a lot of pressure on us, trying to eliminate some of our speed on the outside,” Streff said.
With the win, Basalt improved to 5-2 overall, 4-0 in league play. Aspen slipped to 1-4 overall, 0-3 in league.
“I thought we gave ?em a game ? except for the first 15 minutes,” said Grant “Junior” Sutherland, who coaches Aspen with John Gillies. “In the second half, we had our chances. If we can work on our own game, not concede the early goals, we’ll be OK.”
“We knew they’d be up for it,” Cleveland said. “We just came off a big one Saturday and we started off pretty good, then kinda slacked. But we knew we had to get up for the second.”
On Thursday, Aspen hosts Roaring Fork at 4 p.m. Basalt hosts Vail Mountain Saturday at 11 a.m. at the BHS field.
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