Girls soccer: Unbeaten Coal Ridge rallies to beat Aspen
The Aspen Times
The Skiers found themselves in uncharted territory.
The Aspen High School girls soccer team stunned previously undefeated Coal Ridge early in the first half of Tuesday’s Western Slope League match.
The underdog Skiers scored the first goal of the match in the fifth minute of play when Erin Spence and Mackenzie Langley advanced the ball up the outside, passing to Logan McNamee.
McNamee blasted a low shot that bounced in front of the Coal Ridge goalkeeper and skipped over her shoulder and into the back of the net for a 1-0 Aspen lead.
After Coal Ridge’s Aileen Galaviz tied the score at 1-1, the Skiers retook the lead on a hustling goal by Spence. She controlled a rebound in front and gave Aspen a 2-1 lead with 18:46 to play in the opening half.
And the Skiers held the lead for 11 minutes.
That’s when the undefeated Titans decided to stay undefeated.
Coal Ridge senior Amanda Wenzel scored two goals in a span of 90 seconds to give the Titans a 3-2 halftime lead.
The Titans, with a deep and experienced roster, scored three unanswered goals in the second half for the final 6-2 Coal Ridge victory.
In the second half, Wenzel scored her hat trick goal; senior Paige Ryan scored; Sarah Solinger capped the scoring with Coal Ridge’s final goal against a tiring Aspen team.
“My girls played well in the first half,” Aspen head coach John Gillies said. “Once again, if we didn’t get tired, it … might be a different game..”
Gillies said the Aspen club closed down the potent Titans’ offense early in the match.
“We closed them down. We didn’t allow them in. We kept the defensive line high,” Gillies said. “Unfortunately … we lost concentration, and we allowed them back in the game. We allowed them to start passing the ball.”
The fatigue was compounded against a team with extensive playoff experience — the Titans this week are ranked No. 4 in the state in Class 3A by chsaanow.com. Coal Ridge is the only public school listed in the Class 3A top 10, which is led by 7-3-0 Colorado Academy.
“We did manage to get all the seniors on for the end of the game,” Gillies said of the senior day match when the AHS seniors also were honored at halftime.
Coal Ridge improved to 13-0-0 overall, 8-0-0 in the Western Slope League, with Tuesday’s victory.
Aspen is 4-5-1, 3-3-0 in league.
The Skiers will play at Moffat County in Craig on Thursday before a trip to Palisade on Saturday.
The Aspen girls soccer team will play at Basalt next Tuesday, April 29.
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The Skiers’ latest victim was Vail Mountain School on Monday, a 67-47 non-league rout inside the AHS gymnasium. It was the second time the teams had played in less than a week, as AHS also won in Vail last Tuesday, 40-28. Aspen is in position to possibly host a playoff game next week.