Girls soccer: Aspen pressures Basalt in prep win
The Aspen Times
The Aspen High School girls soccer team hit the field Thursday afternoon with pressure in mind.
The Skiers, opening their home season against Basalt in a nonconference match, pressured the Longhorns throughout a scoreless first half, hammering nine shots on goal.
Their relentless pressure in the Basalt end eventually netted two second-half goals and a 2-0 victory for the Skiers in the match played on the turf field at Aspen High School.
“We’ve been working on pressure and winning the ball in their half,” Aspen head coach John Gillies said. “That’s a lot less dangerous.”
He said the Skiers combined pressure with passing in the win over the Longhorns, who were missing a few regulars.
“We tried to keep the pressure up the field, so the girls played hard. They played with great heart,” he said.
The first goal for Aspen came after a stream of five consecutive shots midway through the second half.
Logan MacNamee worked a left-footed pass from midfield to the outside where teammate Mackenzie Langley knocked the ball into the net — with her left foot.
The clock showed 19:19 to play.
The Skiers’ pressure also produced a bevy of corner-kick opportunities.
Aspen converted with 11 minutes to play when Shannon Waititi knock a corner in for Aspen’s second goal.
“We’ve worked on corners,” Gillies said, lamenting a number of missed corners for the Skiers. “We’ve got some great corner-kickers. If we can get these girls to head the ball (on corner kicks), we’ll score a lot more goals.”
The Skiers, who finished with 22 shots, also had offensive attacks from Katherine Milette, Lacey Newhard and Julia Ely as they improved to 2-0-1 on the season.
The Longhorns, playing their second game of the season, threatened with a pair of scoring chances in the first half.
Stina Peterson nearly corraled a through ball behind the Aspen defense.
But her shot was turned away by Aspen keeper Jessica Coxon.
Victoria Silva and Berta Rivera also had solid shots for the Longhorns, who finished with seven shots against the Skiers.
“We had a few opportunities,” said Basalt first-year head coach Andrew Huntsman. “We just have to capitalize … be more successful on those opportunities.”
He said the Longhorns played with more intensity late in the game.
“We’d like to step up the intensity for the entire game,” he said, adding he was proud of his players and their effort.
“We have a lot of young girls and not a ton of varsity experience,” he said of the Longhorns, 0-0-2.
The Aspen girls will play at Coal Ridge next Tuesday.
They will host Roaring Fork on Wednesday.
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