Eagle Valley rallies to top Aspen soccer
After posting a 2-0 lead in the first half, the Aspen High boys soccer team was overtaken 4-3 on a late goal by Eagle Valley Tuesday in Eagle.
With the loss, Aspen dropped to 0-2 on the season, both 3A Western Slope League matches.
“We managed to put the ball in the net which is always a good sign,” said John Gillies, who coaches Aspen along with Grant “Junior” Sutherland. “We just always seem to be up against it.”
With three minutes to play, Eagle Valley scored a goal to go up 4-3. Aspen quickly responded with a tying goal, Gillies said, but the score was disallowed by officials.
“We’re not that bad this year, that’s not it,” Gillies said. “We’re just not clicking. But they certainly gave it their all today, playing with more passion and hunger than we’ve seen yet, and that’s why it hurts so much to lose.”
Pressure from Aspen’s Sam Harder forced Eagle Valley to put the ball in their own net early in the first half, and Aspen took a 2-0 lead on an Owen Leeper volley to the back post off a corner kick from William Amaya.
Eagle Valley cut the deficit to 2-1 just before halftime, converting a goal on a clearing kick, before scoring an equalizer early in the second half.
“Then it took a tremendous effort by Brett Mufson to make it 3-2,” Gillies said. “It was an absolute peach of a goal; he curled it ?round the keeper.”
Eagle Valley soon answered, and then scored the eventual game-winner with about three minutes on the clock.
“We tried a different attacking system with wingbacks that overlapped on offense, so we certainly applied more pressure,” Gillies said. “We dominated much of the game, but your head goes down just the same. It’s bazaar ? they couldn’t understand why they lost.”
To compound Aspen’s frustrations, senior Reid Hansen was ejected from the match for drawing two yellow cards from officials. The first came on a foul during play, the second when Hansen left the bench to celebrate Mufson’s spectacular goal. As a result, Hansen must sit out Aspen’s next game ? a regional showdown at home Friday at 4 p.m. against Denver-area powerhouse Faith Christian.
“Any team from Denver is going to be tough,” Gillies said. “But it’s going to be tougher without Reid Hansen.”
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Sophomore Ava Lane is a flourishing star in her own right, but spends a lot of her time trying to chase down senior Sierra Bower and sophomore Katelyn Maley, both in practice and in races. This, however, is only making her stronger down the line and it’s not a task she will shy away from.