Delta OT goal spoils homecoming match
The Aspen Times
Homecoming heartache for the Aspen Skiers.
The Aspen High School boys soccer team rode an emotional roller coaster into overtime Tuesday afternoon — forcing extra time on a dramatic late goal in regulation by Edwin Soto.
The score in the 77th minute of the scheduled 80-minute match lifted the Skiers’ homecoming spirits and produced a 1-1 tie against Class 4A Delta in a nonconference contest at the Aspen field.
But the visiting Panthers broke the Skiers homecoming hearts when they converted a penalty kick midway through the second 10-minute overtime period for a 2-1 victory on a sun-drenched fall afternoon in Aspen.
Delta drew the foul in the penalty box after a quick advance involving Ramiro Fausto, Alex Quintero and and Kai Maulhardt in the 96th minute of the high school match.
Maulhardt lined up the PK, knocking a low grass-cutter into the back of the net, giving the Panthers their second win over the Skiers this year.
Fausto had given the Panthers a 1-0 lead early in the second half after the two sides had played to a nil-nil opening half.
Aspen nearly tied the match on consecutive shots by Joel Brice and John Heaphey. But both were turned away.
With time counting down and the sun fading away, Aspen attacked with another hard shot from Brice.
A minute later, the Skiers pushed the ball to Soto in the left midfield. He charged to his right and hammered a left-footed shot across the goal and into the net for the tying goal with just 3 minutes to play.
“Tough to lose that way, but we’ve really started to play well,” Aspen head coach Dave Francis said.
He said the Skiers have improved substantially from the early season when they lost a 4-1 match at Delta.
“This team (Delta), we played a few weeks ago, and they dominated us,” Francis said. “They are a very, very good side.”
But this time, he said, the Skiers responded to the aggressive Panthers, who led in shots 16-6.
“We fought hard, and we played very well against a very good side,” Francis said. “We’ve come a long way.”
While the Skiers were disappointed the tie slipped away in overtime, he said they should have a boost in confidence after Tuesday’s match against Delta (6-3-1).
“We have some very important conference games coming up,” Francis said. “We’re ready to take on the rest of the league.”
The Skiers (1-6-0) have a second homecoming week match at 4 p.m. Thursday against Coal Ridge.
Next Tuesday, Aspen will host Roaring Fork in a key conference match.
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