Basalt nabs No. 2 seed |

Basalt nabs No. 2 seed

Jordan Curet/The Aspen Times

BASALT No. 2 overall and the No. 1 target for nonbelievers.After cruising to a 14-1 record during the regular season, Basalt’s girls soccer team earned the second overall seed Sunday when the 3A state brackets were released. Now the Longhorns’ onus is to prove they deserve the rating.”No one is giving us any respect, so we feel we have to go and earn that respect,” Basalt coach Chris Woods said. “We’re just going to take it one game at a time.” Basalt opens the postseason at home Wednesday against 15th-seeded Front Range Christian. The Littleton school has the same record as Basalt, but has played a softer schedule, Woods said.

“It’s hard to know what to expect,” Woods said. “They’ve scored 86 goals and had only 11 scored against them. They also have three girls who have scored more than 20, including one girl who has scored 34. Their league isn’t very strong, however.”Front Range coaches make the same assertion about the 3A Western Slope, which Basalt has dominated for the past decade. The Longhorns didn’t lose a single league game en route to their 10th team title – outscoring 3A Slope foes, 57-5.In Woods’ five years as head coach, the farthest the Longhorns have gone is the state semifinals, in 2004, where they lost to Denver Christian, 1-0.Last season, Basalt was upset at home in the first round by Colorado Academy – the fourth-best team out of the powerful 3A Metro. The ‘Horns led 2-1 late before giving up an equalizer that forced overtime, and then lost to a penalty-kick goal in the extra period.Colorado Academy earned the No. 1 seed overall this season – which means a rematch wouldn’t take place until the state final, if both teams make it that far.

Woods said he believes his team is built for a state run, and the bracket is perfectly set up for it.Colorado Academy has its league runner-up, Kent Denver, on its side of the bracket, as well as the Metro’s fourth-best team, Denver Christian.The Metro’s third-best team, Machebeuf, is on Basalt’s side of the bracket with the 11th seed. Assuming the Longhorns open with a win Wednesday, they’ll be at home for the second round, where they will either face No. 7 Academy or No. 10 Classical Academy – with a possible matchup with Machebeuf awaiting in the quarterfinal round.This year’s quarterfinal and semifinal games, and the state final, will be played at Englewood’s Pirate Field.

“I’m pretty happy with the seed,” Woods said. “I think they’ve given us the opportunity to get to the championship game.”Basalt enters the postseason almost at full strength. Star forward Katie Staerkel missed the final two weeks of the regular season with a sprained ankle but is expected to play as needed Wednesday.”We’re hoping gradually she can get back to 100 percent,” Woods said. “We went hiking as a team Friday, and she did the whole hike. She’s working extremely hard to rehab it. Every day she puts it in a bucket full of ice, then takes her foot out when she can’t take it any more, then runs until she falls over. That’s how much it means to her.”Nate Peterson’s e-mail address is

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