Coal Ridge stops Basalt soccer
Glenwood Springs Post-Independent
PEACH VALLEY — Enrique Bucio is fast, and the Basalt High School boys soccer team could not catch the Coal Ridge junior midfielder Tuesday.
Bucio scored the go-ahead goal in the 45th minute and assisted on the clinching goal in the 70th, leading the fourth-ranked Titans to a 2-0 Class 3A Region 3 victory over the Longhorns at The Pasture.
“Enrique,” Coal Ridge coach Michael Mikalakis said,” is a very athletic young man. Yes he is.”
All of that athleticism was the difference-maker for Coal Ridge (7-1-0 overall, 3-0-0 league play), which controlled the tempo and possession for a majority of the match.
Still, the Longhorns (6-4-0, 1-3-0) put together a slew of scoring opportunities early and late in the match to keep the Titans on their heels.
“We seem to start out lazy in most of our games,” said Coal Ridge senior forward Edgar Enriquez, whose goal in the 70th minute off a centering pass from Bucio provided the final margin of victory for the Titans. “We did the same thing here, and it’s something that we need to work on.”
Coal Ridge did enough, however, getting seven saves in goal from junior goalkeeper Isidro Contreras and 11 shot attempts total.
Basalt’s best scoring chance came in the 37th minute, as a free-kick shot from 45 yards away went just wide right of the Titans’ goal. Coal Ridge wasn’t able to get a push before the intermission, leaving a scoreless tie at halftime.
Enter Bucio, who snagged a 50-50 ball from the midfield line and rushed up the right sideline. Then, with two Basalt defenders trailing close behind and Longhorns’ goalie Jesus Ceja charging, Bucio crossed the ball toward the goal and past the defenders.
It slowly rolled across the goal box and, just before a charging Coal Ridge forward Michael Solis reached it, the ball gently banked off the bottom of the goal post and in for a 1-0 Coal Ridge lead.
“I saw the goalie come out, and he left me some space to work with on the right side,” Bucio said. “I knew I could make it through there.”
Basalt countered with four separate pushes in the next 20 minutes, each turned away by offsides penalties. Coal Ridge and Bucio took advantage, as Enriquez thumped the ball into the right side of the net after Bucio’s back-side pass found him in a crowd.
The Longhorns will continue league play Saturday at Moffat County.
Coal Ridge will plays a nonleague match Thursday at Rifle.
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