Basalt soccer drops heartbreaker
For the Basalt soccer team, the 2007 season begins and ends with Kent Denver.The No. 7 Longhorns were blanked, 4-0, against the second-seeded Sun Devils in the season opener. In Saturday’s 3A state quarterfinals, Kent Denver scored in the 25th minute and hung on for the one-goal victory.Basalt (13-4) knows this feeling well. The Longhorns lost a 1-0 game in last year’s quarterfinals to then No. 2 Colorado Academy. They were 2-2 in one-goal games this season.”We had them. Shoot, we outplayed them,” Basalt coach John McDermott said. “They scored before the end of the first half, and we could never get back into it. We couldn’t get one into the back of the net.”One misstep from Basalt’s backline proved to be the difference in a tight match. The Sun Devils pushed the ball deep in the Longhorns zone 15 minutes before half-time, and Basalt played two touches to clear instead of one. The second touch was intercepted, and a Kent Denver player completed a one-touch volley to his teammate to beat goalkeeper Marshall Cleveland with what proved to be the game winner.”We knew we were better, we knew we were stronger, we knew we could beat them,” Basalt assistant coach Aaron Anderson said. “This one was real tough. We had at least four or five solid chances where the ball rolled just to the side of the net or hit the post.”While McDermott said his team controlled the pace early, the Longhorns couldn’t capitalize. The coach shifted lineups on the front line to generate some punch to no avail.”We dominated in the beginning, but we let them creep back in,” he added. “We couldn’t get it finished. It’s always hard at this level when you know you could go on. This was the year we thought we’d go on.”The kids were upset, but when you’ve done this before, you learn to contain it.”Injuries and a stagnant offense plagued the Longhorns in last year’s quarterfinal. This time around, they couldn’t land the punch needed to silence the Sun Devils.”If we got a goal earlier, we would’ve put them away,” McDermott said. “We did play well, and we should’ve had it – even their crowd knew it.”Jon Maletz’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
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