Basalt streaks through 1st round |

Basalt streaks through 1st round

Tim Mutrie
Ashley Eaton (5) battles with an Evangelical Christian Academy defender during the second half at Basalt High Thursday afternoon May 13, 2004. Eaton scored two points to help Basalt continue their shut-out streak to 9 with a 10-0 win over ECA. Basalt continues their march to the state championship on Tuesday against*** at 4 p.m.. Aspen Times photo/Paul Conrad.+

Senior Ukare Sano scored a hat trick and nine other Basalt players tallied goals or assists as the No. 3 seed Lady Longhorns crushed No. 14 Evangelical Christian Academy 10-0 in the first round of the Class 3A state soccer tournament Thursday afternoon in Basalt.

The winner of 12 straight, Basalt, 13-1 overall, pushed its streak of shutout victories to nine consecutive games, now by a cumulative margin of 50 to nil. Colorado Springs’ Evangelical Christian saw its season ended at 8-5 overall.

Making just two touches all game, thanks to an ever-vigilant defensive back line, senior Autumn Caughern recorded the win in goal for Basalt.

Junior midfielder Kari Heuer opened the scoring flood in the 10th minute with a left-footed rocket one-timed off a perfect feeder pass from senior center midfielder Ashley Eaton.

Basalt added three more goals before halftime and Eaton touched off a six-goal outburst in the second half with a corner kick that hooked directly into the goal in the first minute after the break.

“We all want the state title so bad this year,” said Eaton, one of 10 seniors on the team. “I expected us to do well, maybe not 10-zero, but once we got going there was no stopping us.”

“Now, we can’t be too full of ourselves because we’re only going to be facing better teams as we go on.”

Basalt, which drew its highest seed ever in the state tourney this year, will host a quarterfinal match on Tuesday at 4 p.m. at the BHS field against the winner of No. 6 Bishop Machebeuf versus No. 11 St. Mary’s (Colorado Springs). (Results from that game were not available last night.)

“We’ll savor this win for five or 10 minutes and then get back to business,” said Basalt coach Chris Woods.

“Big props to our defense today,” continued Woods, referring to an all-senior unit that has allowed just seven goals all season, including Brittany Pollock, Meghan Stewart, Amanda Schmitt, Rochelle Moebius and Maria Jacobson.

“That kind of defense gives our offense and midfield that much more confidence to take chances and drive for the goal.”

After Heuer’s goal, sophomore striker Maddie Hoffman scored a pair of goals and Eaton made it 4-0 with her first goal toward the end of the first half. Sano struck for her three goals in the second half, and junior midfielder Sophie Stenstadvold and freshman forward Katie Staerkel scored down the stretch to push the final tally into double digits.

Eaton also had three assists, Pollock had two, and senior midfielder Shannon Hutton, Schmitt, Sano and freshman Bailey Holmes contributed one apiece.

“It’s been a lot of fun this year, maybe because a lot of us have been playing together since we were kids,” said Eaton. “Now, each game we’ve got to learn from our mistakes and work on what we can improve on for the next game. But really, we’re all trying to play with our hearts and let that be our guide.”

Said coach Woods: “I do know that we’re definitely not in an offensive rut. But we’re going to have to step up as we go. It’s not going to be as easy as this next time.”

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