Fruita Monument blanks Aspen 6-0 |

Fruita Monument blanks Aspen 6-0

Aspen High School's Gabriel Grisolia goes up for some defense against Fruita High School at Aspen High Thursday night. Daniel Bayer photo.
Daniel Bayer © 2003 |

The undefeated Fruita Monument High School boys soccer team improved to 4-0 Thursday afternoon in Aspen with a 6-0 shutout of the AHS Skiers.

Aspen, 1-0 in Class 3A Western Slope League play, dropped to 1-3 overall with the loss to the larger, Class 5A Fruita Monument.

For Aspen, the outcome would be have been far more lopsided, double digits easy, were it not for sophomore goalie Fred Barnard.

Bernard made more than a dozen saves, several of them dandies, and three of Fruita Monument’s goals came on beautifully orchestrated crossing combinations. Two crosses were headed in directly by crashing Fruita Monument forwards, plays where Bernard stood no chance.

The Aspen defense staved off the goal-scoring until the 22nd minute of the first half, but after Fruita pounded in three more before halftime.

“That’s a great team,” said Grant “Junior” Sutherland, who coaches Aspen with John Gillies.

“They’re strong, they’re physical and they’re fast. They had one guy like lightning. I think they’ll do very well this year.”

Aspen sophomore forward Sam Harder hit the crossbar on a header in the first half, and freshmen Nicky Anastas had Aspen’s best chance of the day just before halftime. A Fruita Monument player was whistled for a hand-ball inside the goalie box, and Anastas took the penalty kick, but his shot sailed over the crossbar.

“It was a good experience for the young guys,” said Aspen’s Sutherland. “Early in the game we were in it, then we broke down and made a few mistakes. But they did have three great goals, too, and full credit to them.”

On Saturday at 11 a.m. at the AHS field, Aspen hosts Vail Mountain for their second league game of the season. Vail Mountain, Basalt, Eagle Valley and Aspen are the perennial contenders from the league.

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