Girls soccer: Coal Ridge tops Basalt in OT
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado
NEW CASTLE, Colo. – Coal Ridge got the best of Basalt on Tuesday in the latest tussle between the 3A Region 3 soccer powers.
Mariela Martinez came away with a rebound and scored in the waning minutes of double overtime, propelling the Titans to a 2-1 victory.
The loss dropped the perennial conference power Longhorns to 5-4-1 overall. The good news: Tuesday’s bout did not count toward the Region 3 standings; the two sides will square off in May 3’s season finale.
“I don’t really look at the record too much,” Basalt head coach Makenzie Eshelman said. “We’ve played so many close games – this game easily could’ve been in our win column. Our focus is on continuing to get better.”
The visiting Longhorns, who Saturday scored nine goals in a rout of Vail Christian and were looking to a notch consecutive victories for just the second time this season, were sluggish at the outset Tuesday.
“We didn’t have a ton of intensity, and they were all over us physically,” Eshelman said.
Coal Ridge struck first midway through the opening half. A Basalt player made a tackle and attempted to clear the ball up the middle of the pitch, and the Titans came away with possession. Soon after, Alicia Cokley ripped a shot that bounded off Longhorns goalkeeper Emmalee Erickson’s gloves and into the net.
Basalt rebounded quickly. Little more than three minutes into the second half, Katie King corralled a pass, beat a defender and launched a liner from the top of the box that bounded off the Coal Ridge keeper and past the goal line.
In the first five-minute extra period, the Longhorns squandered three prime scoring chances, including two shots that sailed just over the crossbar. The Titans made them pay.
Cokley fired a shot in the second overtime that was deflected, and Martinez was well positioned to knock the ball home, helping Coal Ridge improve to 7-1-2 and 4-0-1 in the tightly bunched Region 3 standings. Aspen (8-1-1, 5-0) leads the pack, and Basalt currently sits in fourth.
The Longhorns visit league bottom-feeders Rangely and Rifle on Thursday and Saturday, respectively. They then host Aspen at 4 p.m. on April 26.
Basalt’s position in the standings “definitely is a little different, but I think the whole league is different,” Eshelman said. “We’re all kind of in a place where we’re not sure how it’s all going to shake out. It’s all going to come down to the last game, and that makes for good soccer and is a lot of fun. We’ve got some climbing up to do, but we’re excited.”
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Winter sports practices were officially allowed to begin last week, Jan. 18, after the Colorado High School Activities Association was given a variance from the state’s health officials. Games were allowed to be played starting this week.