Basalt settles for tie with Denver Christian
The ping of a soccer ball connecting with the steel crossbar is the cruelest sound of all. Just ask Basalt girls coach Chris Woods. Woods watched an apparent overtime goal off the foot of forward Katie Staerkel in Saturday’s game against Denver Christian sail over the keeper but ricochet off the Crusaders’ goal. The Longhorns (4-0-1) settled for a 1-1 tie.”I could be diplomatic and say this game deserved to end a draw, but we coulda won it,” Woods said Sunday. “We couldn’t get any luck. It was just starting to feel like one of those days.”Two days after his team scored eight goals in a win against Aspen, Woods said he was frustrated after watching multiple shots sail inches wide of the goal. After a flat first 20 minutes in which the Crusaders dictated the pace, Basalt settled into its offense, which created a host of scoring opportunities. At halftime, however, the game was knotted 0-0. Basalt continued to “bombard” Denver Christian with offensive pressure in the second and dictate the pace of the game, Woods said. Still, Basalt relied on its first and only goal of the game with 40 seconds left in the contest just to escape defeat. With 15 minutes to go in regulation, Woods opted to take out a defender and added a third forward to the lineup. The strategy paid off when senior Maddie Hoffman – the player inserted – found freshman Melissa Stewart, who fired the tying shot into the top corner of the goal from 15 yards out. Stewart had two goals in Saturday’s win over the Skiers.Denver Christian scored its only goal of the contest 15 minutes into the second on a shot that rolled off the fingers of Longhorns sophomore keeper Dayne Toney. “We weren’t going to Denver for a holiday – we were there to shake things up and go for it,” Woods said of his late substitution.Staerkel nearly scored the game winner 20 seconds later when, after Basalt took possession and passed out to the wing, the junior connected on a shot that sailed just wide.While he couldn’t help but feel as though a win over a highly touted team from the Metro conference slipped from his team’s grasp, Woods said Basalt’s performance was encouraging.”We learned a lot about ourselves,” Woods said. “Next time we play a Denver team, we’ll have more confidence. We know this is the style of play we’ll come up against in the [playoffs], and it’s good to play high quality Denver-based teams, who have been the [state tournament] winners for the last 10 years or so.”Basalt plays Fruita Monument at 3 p.m. today in Grand Junction.
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Aspen Mountain opened for the season on Wednesday, a day earlier than originally planned. Top-to-bottom snowmaking, a solid recent storm and well-behaved guests made for a great experience despite all of the extra precautions.