Basalt offense dominant in win over Rangely |

Basalt offense dominant in win over Rangely

Longhorns junior Kat Fitzpatrick squeezes between Rangley defeders Heather Wanstedt, left, and Whitney Chumacero during the first half Saturday at Basalt High School. Fitzpatrick scored three goals in the Longhorns' 9-0 win over the Panthers. (Paul Conrad/The Aspen Times)

BASALT Blink while watching a Basalt girls soccer game and you might miss a goal being scored.The Longhorns continued their offensive torrent Saturday against Rangely. They fired nine shots on the Panthers net in the first 10 minutes alone, scored four times – three from junior Katheryne Fitzpatrick – in the first 40 minutes and cruised to the 9-0 home win.There was nowhere for Panthers goalkeeper Nattiel Griggs to hide as Basalt’s trio of dynamic forwards – Fitzpatrick, Katie Staerkel and Melissa Stewart – combined to score six goals and apply constant pressure.

“We know each other’s strengths and work so well together,” Fitzpatrick said. “I got some great passes from Melissa.”After Alia Munger scored three minutes into the game on a corner kick that deflected off a Panthers defender and into the net, Fitzpatrick recorded the first of her three consecutive goals. Seventeen minutes in, she controlled a botched clear attempt in front of the net, a fired a shot that bounced off Griggs’ gloves. Fitzpatrick showed off her footwork and ball-handling 29 minutes into the half when she faked out three defenders for the score. Stewart controlled a ball near the end line, beat one defender then passed to Fitzpatrick, who was all alone for the finish.”They’re starting to really gel,” Basalt coach Chris Woods said of his front line. “The only way they stop is if I take them off.”

The Panthers are well aware of that fact. Basalt scored eight times in a shutout victory during the teams’ first meeting March 17. And in Saturday’s second half, the Longhorns showed no signs of letting up. They scored twice in the first seven minutes.Stewart dribbled into the zone, then passed off to Staerkel for the finish. Staerkel returned the favor four minutes later when, after controlling a deflection, she fed Stewart with a nifty pass between a host of defenders in the box; Stewart finished with a strong shot past Griggs.Less than two minutes after being reinserted into the lineup with 15 minutes remaining, Stewart controlled a loose ball, dribbled past a defender down the left side and scored once more, stretching the lead to eight.

“It was fun to watch them string together three, four and five passes and control the play,” Woods said. “And it was good to get Dayne her first of the year. It helps boost team moral – everyone was pulling for her.”Toney was pulled from the net with 15 minutes remaining and moved to the front line. The junior gave her teammates and Longhorns fans reason to cheer when she recorded an assist on Katie Peckler’s goal midway through the half, then capped the game with a goal with eight minutes remaining. During a scuffle on the ground in front of the Rangely goal, Toney managed to come up with the ball and finish.Offensive outbursts are nothing new for Basalt, which has outscored opponents, 51-3, this season. They are averaging nearly six goals per game.”They all know how to score, and they’re prolific,” Woods said.

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