Basalt girls stifle Grand Valley |

Basalt girls stifle Grand Valley

Jeff Caspersen
Glenwood Springs correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado

PARACHUTE, Colo. ” Grand Valley girls soccer coach Kelly Clark couldn’t help but chuckle a little when she examined her stat book Tuesday.

What did she see in there? Try a 33-save afternoon for her goalkeeper.

“That’s more than I want to have,” Clark said with an uneasy laugh.

The keeper in question, Stephanie Hilgenbrinck, managed to stop nearly 85 percent of the shots Basalt rifled her way. Her efforts weren’t enough, though, as the visiting Longhorns slipped six shots past the sophomore en route to a 6-0 win in Parachute on Tuesday.

Four of those goals came courtesy of Melissa Stewart, who routinely zig-zagged and juked her way through the Grand Valley defense for high-percentage shots. The senior also showcased her sniper skills, netting a pair of line-drive goals from more than 15 yards out.

Alex Dewind, who scored the game’s first goal on a cross from Nettie Stenstadvold, and Julia Kaputska rounded out the scoring for Basalt, which won for the second day in a row and was playing its third game in four days.

On Monday, the Longhorns beat Vail Mountain School, 3-0, on the road. And they’ll likely return to the pitch Thursday for a makeup home game with Rangely, making for a busy stretch of the season.

“It’s tough,” Stewart said, “but it’s better than practice.”

Also playing its second game in as many days, Grand Valley was in a similar boat.

On Monday, the Cardinals secured their first-ever win at the varsity level by beating Roaring Fork, 1-0, in a snow-shortened contest. They’ll play again Thursday at Vail Mountain.

“It’s a very brutal week,” Clark said. “It gets tough, but the girls are actually in better shape than we started out. I think they’re doing good. I’m proud of them.”

Monday’s win was a major milestone for Grand Valley, which fielded only a junior varsity team the past two seasons and has taken its fair share of licks in its inaugural varsity campaign.

“I think it’s good to get a win under our belt,” said senior Brittney Garcia, who scored the Cardinals’ goal ” the squad’s first all year ” against Roaring Fork. “We’ve been getting slammed and that gave us confidence, since it’s our first year of varsity. Now we know we have the capability of doing something like that.”

Garcia and the Cardinals are now 1-5-0 overall and 1-4-0 in the 3A Western Slope, while Basalt improved to 2-0-1 in league and 2-1-1 overall.

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