Basalt soccer pressures No. 2 seed in playoffs
The Aspen Times
The Basalt High School boys soccer team blazed a trail on the new frontier Friday.
The Longhorns, the No. 31 seed in the 32-team Class 3A State Soccer Championships, nearly pulled off the biggest upset of the opening round before falling 3-2 to No. 2 Frontier Academy of Greeley.
“In terms of a loss, this was a great loss,” Basalt head coach Brent Haynes said. “I’m really happy with the boys. We’re a young team, and this was a great eductional experience.”
The Longhorns stunned the Frontier Wolverines with the first game Friday afternoon, when Daniel Arroyos scored for Basalt in the second half after a scoreless first half.
Frontier (13-1-2) tied the game 1-1, and the Wolverines took a 2-1 lead.
Edwin Del Cid answered for Basalt and a 2-2 tie as time ticked down.
“Then they got one in with about 40 seconds left,” Hayes said of the playoff thriller.
“But I think we showed we deserved to be at state,” he said of the Longhorns, who finished 6-10-0 after a rugged season in the powerful Western Slope League.
“After telling our guys, now they realize they play in a hard league,” Hayes said.
A look at the playoff scoreboard revealed first-round wins for the other four state qualifiers from the conference.
Aspen defeated Pinnacle in a shootout;
Roaring Fork blasted Roosevelt 6-0;
Coal Ridge shut out Strling 4-0;
Vail Mountain School beat Vanguard Charter School 2-0.
“We’re young, but the boys played great,” he said, adding that the Longhorns had only two subs, per usual.
“They played better and better every game,” the Basalt head coach said. “If we can work hard in the offseason, get a little better touch, we’ll come back strong next year.”
Vail Mountain (12-3-1) advances to today’s second-round game against Jefferson Academy, a 2-0 winner over Telluride on Friday.
Roaring Fork (14-2-0), playing at home in Carbondale, will play Peak to Peak in today’s second round. Peak to Peak stopped Pagosa Springs 3-2.
Coal Ridge will play either Denver Science or St. Mary’s of Colorado Springs today.
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Peter Arnold’s playing career ended after high school, but his time on the ice continues a few decades later. A longtime USA Hockey official and new Aspen resident, Arnold is searching for the next generation of hockey referees among the youth ranks here in the Roaring Fork Valley.