Basalt soccer wins fifth straight |

Basalt soccer wins fifth straight

Jon Maletz
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

BASALT – The Skiers’ youth and inexperience caught up with them Wednesday.

Aspen surrendered a goal in the final minute of the first half, then another in the opening minute of the second. The Longhorns struck for two more goals down the stretch and cruised to a 5-0 win over their valley rivals.

“We played well, but that second goal right before the half was the killer goal,” Skiers head coach Junior Sutherland said. “That’s a critical time in football. … We’re losing silly goals.”

Aspen, coming off an overtime loss to Vail Mountain in which it was missing multiple starters because of illness, hung tough in the opening minutes Wednesday. While Basalt controlled the midfield and possession from the onset, Skiers goalkeeper Jessis Andrade turned away multiple early scoring chances with a bevy of athletic saves.

“He was phenomenal,” Sutherland said. “There’s no doubt that without him there would’ve been more [goals].”

The Longhorns (7-3-1 overall, 6-2 3A Region 7) finally broke the deadlock in the 19th minute. Santiago Marciani shook off a defender and hit Omar Lopez in stride with a pass up the middle. Lopez, who found himself all alone as he sped toward Andrade, paused and fired a shot into the bottom corner.

A defensive lapse cost the Skiers (2-8-2, 1-5-2) in the final minute. Lukas Dilling, fresh off a hat trick Saturday against Hotchkiss, chased down a ball up the left side and scored from a difficult angle to stretch the lead to two.

Thirty seconds into the second half, Lopez caught Aspen out of position once more. He controlled a pass from Austin Long, kicked the ball ahead to give himself an extra moment to outrun a defender, then clipped the net with a low liner.

“That [goal before the half] was a good setup for the second,” Lopez said. “We just didn’t finish like we wanted to at first. I think the more we stepped up, we had life and confidence.”

Eight minutes after scoring his second goal, Lopez fired a perfect cross that Dilling headed home to pad the lead even further.

“We came out slow. Their goalkeeper was brilliant,” Basalt head coach John McDermott said. “The great thing about this team is that we don’t have to rely on one or two players to score. … It’s different people all the time. We have a smorgasbord of them.”

Willy Salamanca got into the act in the 70th minute. After a foul in the box, the diminutive freshman lined up for the ensuing penalty kick and drilled the ball past a diving Andrade to all but seal the win – Basalt’s fifth straight. The current streak began with a 5-0 win over the Skiers on Sept. 22.

During that span, which has helped them assume first place in the conference, the Longhorns are outscoring opponents, 25-1.

Basalt hosts Coal Ridge at 11 a.m. Saturday. At that same time, Aspen will look to pick up its first win since Sept. 12 when it hosts Hotchkiss.

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