Crucial penalty kick carries Coal Ridge boys soccer team over Basalt, 4-1 |

Crucial penalty kick carries Coal Ridge boys soccer team over Basalt, 4-1

Basalt High School boys soccer against Coal Ridge on Tuesday.
Austin Colbert/The Aspen Times

There was a moment in the second half when the Basalt High School boys soccer team showed a spark. But barely five minutes after senior Bear Matthews scored to cut the deficit in half, visiting Coal Ridge was awarded a penalty kick and that was pretty much it.

The Titans wouldn’t relinquish control from there, winning 4-1 over Basalt in the Longhorns’ home opener on the BHS field.

“It was a pretty unfortunate call on the penalty kick. I’m not questioning the call as much as it was just an unfortunate time for us because we had just made it 2-1,” Basalt High soccer coach Brent Hayes said.

“It was kind of over at that point. They fought through it, though. They weren’t cramping up like the other team, which they should take some heart in that they’re really fit. They stayed relativity positive.”

Coal Ridge (1-0), the defending 3A Western Slope League champions, led 1-0 at halftime after a goal midway through the first half. It became 2-0 only a few minutes into the second half.

“Definitely some growing pains. I’m still waiting for a few guys to get back from injury,” Hayes said. “I don’t know, today was just kind of a funky day. They came out flat, I think. We let Coal Ridge just kind of take over and send balls over the top endlessly in the first half, without adjusting to that.”

Hayes moved one of his top defenders into the midfield in the second half, hoping to generate some offense. Matthews scored with about 24 minutes to play, assisted by Junior Portillo, giving the Longhorns that brief spark. But the PK turned the tide in Coal Ridge’s favor, and the Titans managed to tack on one final goal in the closing minutes for the 4-1 final in the non-league matchup.

Basalt (0-2) opened the season with a 3-0 loss at Roaring Fork last week. Now, the Longhorns travel to the Front Range to face two of the tougher teams in Class 3A, beginning with No. 2 Kent Denver on Friday. Basalt also is scheduled to play No. 6 KIPP Denver on Saturday.

“I’m frustrated. There is not much more I can say. I need more focus at practice. I need people to practice. I need people to listen. That doesn’t happen all the time,” Hayes said of the early-season struggles. “Now we go to Denver and play arguably two of the best teams in the state. So if we don’t figure some things out it’s going to be a long first two weeks of the season.”

Also Tuesday, Roaring Fork moved to 2-0 with a 2-0 win over Vail Mountain.

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