Basalt girls ready to make run at state championship
The Basalt High girls soccer team is healthy, rested and ready to go.And make no mistake, it is go time for the Lady Longhorns.Today at 4 p.m. at the BHS field, Basalt (12-3-0), the No. 4 seed in the 16-team Class 3A state tournament, hosts No. 13 Machebeuf (9-4-2) in the opening round of the tourney. The winner advances to the round of eight, the loser goes home, finished.”We know it’s going to be tough,” said Basalt coach Chris Woods. “We had a team meeting [Monday] and we don’t like how they [the seeing committee, comprised of coaches] have padded our bracket, but that’s out of our control. No matter now.”The way Basalt sees it, Machebeuf, an annual power from the Metro League, is hardly a No. 13 team. In addition, the winner of Basalt-Machebeuf will advance to face the victor of No. 5 St. Mary’s (14-1-0) and No. 12 Denver Christian (10-1-4), two teams that can hardly be considered slouches either. (In fact, Denver Christian beat Basalt 1-nil last season in the state semifinals en route to the state title).Basalt’s offense is the most potent in Class 3A, with the Lady Longhorns leading the state in team offense (75 goals, 63 assists) and individually, with sophomore striker Katie Staerkel’s tally currently at 30 goals, 11 assists. Then there’s players like Maddie Hoffman, Jessi Graf and Katherine Fitzpatrick, who have proven to be pretty handy around opponents’ nets as well.”Our lineup shouldn’t differ much from what you’ve seen all season,” said Woods. “Although we have learned a bit more about Machebeuf, how they play, and we’ll be doing some specific things to try and give them problems throughout the game.”Since Basalt’s last match – a 5-0 victory over Roaring Fork, a week ago yesterday – the team has rested and recouped. But Woods promised “they’ll be raring to go come Wednesday afternoon.””We’re a young team but we also have some girls who have been there before, and the younger girls will be looking to them for leadership. The young ‘uns will probably be nervous for the first couple of minutes, but then I think they’ll settle into the game just fine,” the coach said.Woods and the team are hoping to attract a large crowd of Longhorn supporters to the game.”Hopefully, we can get everyone to wear purple and come up to support us. And it’d be nice if they’re very vocal, too. The louder the better,” said Woods.Tim Mutrie’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
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