Basalt soccer crushes Grand Valley |

Basalt soccer crushes Grand Valley

Jon Maletz
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado
Jim Ryan/Special to The Aspen TimesLonghorns juniors Sean Ryan, left, and Bertilio Garcia battle Grand Valley's Miguel Mancinas for possession Saturday at Basalt High School. Garcia's hat trick propelled the Longhorns to a 7-0 victory.

BASALT – Basalt’s Bertilio Garcia admittedly was stewing after his missed field goal and a few lackluster kick-offs in Friday’s football game in Rangely.

This should cheer him up.

In Saturday’s soccer game against Grand Valley, the junior two-sport player recorded a hat trick in the game’s first 10-plus minutes. All told, the quick-strike Longhorns scored five times in the game’s first 20 minutes and rolled to a 7-0 win, improving to 3-0 and 1-0 in conference play.

“I just wanted to come out here and just have fun,” Garcia said afterward. “To come back after not scoring the last two games, I got advice from my cousin Willy [Salamanca] to keep going at it. I came out with everything today.”

In the seventh minute, the midfielder found an opening in front of the Cardinals’ net and finished off a through ball from Hector Morales. Garcia then slipped past a defender some 3 minutes later and scored from close range.

“I thought I was just going to get one today. I think my teammates set me up really good,” he said. “I had some really good through balls that I just had to finish.”

He did the bulk of the work on his third score, however, lining a shot past the Grand Valley keeper from a seemingly impossible angle.

Teammates Jerson Orellana and Arnold Diaz joined the scoring barrage soon after; Orellana was pulled down in the box and converted the ensuing penalty kick, then Diaz launched a shot from outside the box that rattled one post before settling into the back of the net.

Basalt head coach Brent Hayes emptied the bench soon after and implored his players to slow the pace and work on ball control.

“Five goals in 20 minutes, and they did it the way I’ve really been trying to get them to play – not necessarily everything straight down the sides or straight down the middle but building the play a little more,” Hayes said. “It was good for the boys to see that they can score when needed.”

Such was not the case Thursday, when the Longhorns connected just once in Coal Ridge but managed to hang on for the win.

“That was a frustrating game. We played a good game, but Coal Ridge has a great defense,” Hayes said. “We probably should’ve put a few more in. … the kids were a little bummed out after that game, so to come out and take it to somebody is encouraging.”

Basalt maintained possession for all but a few fleeting moments; goalkeeper Chandler Crymble did not face a shot and touched the ball fewer than five times in 80 minutes.

The Longhorns tacked on two more goals in the waning minutes Saturday. Josue Fernandez headed home a well-placed cross from Diaz, then Sean Ryan came away with the ball in a crowded Cardinals box and finished off the scoring with a powerful boot.

“It was a good game, a good marker. I think maybe they needed some confidence,” Hayes said. “We finally got everybody on the same page. We do have a plan for working the ball around and using set pieces. … We really focused on that in the second half and got a lot of head-ball chances through the middle. That’s something different than we’ve had recently.

“We’re getting there, but there’s still some kinks we need to work on.”

Basalt hosts upvalley rival Aspen at

4 p.m. Thursday.

“It’s going to be a big statement game for us and will dictate a lot of how the rest of the season goes,” Hayes said. “We know it’s going to be a tough game. It always is.”

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