Basalt soccer continues to roll
Post Independent Staff
BASALT – Playing with purpose and intensity has propelled Basalt boys soccer back near the top of the 3A Western Slope League.
Getting five goals from five different players on a windy Saturday on their home pitch, the Longhorns romped to a 5-1 win over Coal Ridge.
Outscoring opponents 30-2 along the way, Basalt now owns a six-game winning streak and ranks first in the league in victories with seven. Since back-to-back league losses to Colorado Rocky Mountain School (Sept. 12) and Roaring Fork (Sept. 17), the Longhorns have been lights out.
“We just had a really slow start,” Basalt senior David Gruenefeldt, who had a goal and assist in helping turn away the Titans. “I feel like we’ve just been playing our game.”
Playing the Longhorns’ game means attacking and getting out to a fast start. And that’s precisely what they did Saturday.
“We’ve been picking it up in the beginning of the game, trying to score first,” said Basalt goalkeeper Jeffer Flores, who didn’t have to wait long to see his offense erupt.
Johny Diaz got the Longhorns (8-3-1 overall, 7-2 in league) on the board in the 19th minute, pouncing on a rebound for a score after Coal Ridge keeper Ty Guettler knocked away a laser by Diaz’s teammate, Omar Lopez.
Lopez assisted a teammate again 10 minutes later, dropping a pass for Lukas Dilling, who rolled a shot past Guettler and put Basalt up 2-0.
Owen Bailey added a goal on a penalty kick and Gruenefeldt and Seba Liuzzi each scored in the second half to give the Longhorns their final count.
The Titans broke up the shutout in the 79th minute with a penalty kick by Lee Wentzel. Wentzel beat Flores with a high shot that bounced in off the crossbar.
Wentzel’s strike was the lone bright spot on an otherwise disappointing afternoon for Coal Ridge, which dropped to 7-5 overall and to 5-4 in league.
“I actually thought we played pretty well in the first half,” Titans coach Brian Blair said. “In the second half we couldn’t match their energy at all. You can’t win that way.”
Next up for Basalt is a high-stakes showdown with visiting Roaring Fork on Tuesday. The Rams entered Saturday a game up on the Longhorns in the loss column at 5-1-1 in league.
“Our next game we’ll focus on Roaring Fork,” Flores said. “They beat us last time. We want to beat them this time.”
Roaring Fork is also Coal Ridge’s next opponent. The Titans host the Rams on Thursday.
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The third weekend of play begins Thursday and runs through Sunday with the Bantam B, Squirt A and Squirt B divisions. Because of safety protocols, spectators aren’t allowed.