Basalt girls hand rival Aspen first defeat |

Basalt girls hand rival Aspen first defeat

Nate PetersonThe Aspen TimesAspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN Melissa Stewarts job is to score goals, not to explain how she scores them.Hence, the response from the Basalt senior after she wrapped a free kick around a wall of defenders and into the back of the net Tuesday afternoon to break a scoreless tie and snap rival Aspens unbeaten streak this spring.I dont know, I just kicked it, said Stewart after the 1-0 win, which improved Basalt to 4- 1-1 overall. Every free kick you just want to get in the goal, but I dont even know how that one went in.Aspen is still wondering the same thing.Despite dominating possession and outshooting the Longhorns by more than 2-to-1, the Skiers (7-1-1) failed to net one goal on their home turf after going off for 50 goals in eight previous games.Stewarts free kick came about after a controversial whistle on an Aspen defender in the middle of a tense second half. Skiers coach John Gillies said he didnt even see the play in question, but added that the call legitimate or not didnt decide the outcome of the game.Whether it was a free kick or not, we still needed to defend, he said. And If wed have put away our chances, we would have walked away winning this. It doesnt matter how controversial you might want to think we lost this game by, if we put our chances away, it wouldnt matter.That much was clear to the scores of Aspen fans who watched the Skiers fail to convert a number of golden opportunities. Just four minutes after Stewarts goal, Aspen senior Lizzie Eastley whiffed on a point-blank shot right in front of the Basalt net.With five minutes remaining in regulation, an Aspen corner kick sailed right in front of the Basalt goal and no fewer than three Aspen players got a foot on the ball, but it somehow never made it in the net. After pinballing off a number of cleats and shin guards, a Basalt defender finally cleared the ball and Aspen was left to try again.The Skiers kept at it, but to no avail. Aspens Kate Moyer had another chance for the equalizer with less than two minutes to go, but Basalt senior goalie Tia Hacker was right in the way of the shot. Hacker earned the start from coach Makenzie Eshelman and proved up to the task against Aspens dangerous offense, bobbling a couple of balls but never getting rattled despite an onslaught of Skiers shots. To go with the questionable free kick that led to Stewarts goal, Skiers fans were also livid about a no-call on an apparent Basalt hand ball with about 12 minutes in regulation.We had more opportunities, for sure, which is so frustrating, Eastley said. Its obviously hard, but I think well have more confidence going into the next Basalt game. It also shows us what we need to work on in practice because we obviously had trouble finishing.For Basalt, the win was a boost of confidence, considering Tuesdays game was its first since Spring Break.Im pretty stoked, Eshelman said. I thought my girls played their hearts out. So did Aspen. I didnt expect anything but what they gave us and I thought my girls really stepped it up, and so did Aspen. Im very happy to win this game.Stewart agreed, adding: Its always nice to beat Aspen. Theyre always going to be a good team.After putting up such impressive numbers in its first eight games, a hard-to-swallow loss was maybe just thing Aspen needed, Gillies added. It was a great game, he said. This what we need. We need pressure like this. We need to play a good team and well learn from it and well come

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