Basalt soccer hangs with 3A’s top team |

Basalt soccer hangs with 3A’s top team

Nate Peterson
The Aspen Times
Aspen CO, Colorado

Basalt’s soccer team opened its season Friday afternoon the same way it ended the previous one: With a one-goal loss to Kent Denver.

Make that top-ranked Kent Denver.

The No. 7 Longhorns certainly proved they could play with a team that the Rocky Mountain News picked as a state title favorite in 3A, but just like last year, a goal eluded them, and the Sun Devils held on for a win.

Kent Denver’s Peter Walker scored the game-winner on an assist from Chris Barton midway through the second half.

“They scored when some of my main guys came out,” said Basalt coach John McDermott.

He added that he was pleased with the result considering “I’m still figuring out my team.”

The Longhorns, after winning their fifth 3A Western Slope title in six years, fell to the Sun Devils in the second round of the 3A playoffs last season.

That was after Basalt opened the 2007 season against the Sun Devils with a 4-0 loss. With a number of key players missing, the Longhorns found themselves overmatched in that opener. That wasn’t the case Friday.

“I’m missing a couple of guys, and I need to fix a couple of positions, but we played right with them,” McDermott said. “We weren’t pushing the ball up like we should have. We could have done a better job at that.”

The Longhorns will get a chance to improve on just that today when they take on defending state champion Denver Christian ” No. 5 in the Rocky’s preseason rankings ” at 8:30 a.m.

McDermott said the early-season swing through Denver to play two of 3A’s best teams is a great measuring stick for a group that, as always, expects to earn a trip back to Denver at the end of the season.

“We can definitely play with [Denver Christian],” the coach said.

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