Goalie scores in Basalt’s win over Roaring Fork
Off came the goalie gloves. On came a No. 13 jersey borrowed from a Basalt teammate.After more than 70 minutes of idling in obscurity while the Longhorns controlled the game on offense, senior goalkeeper Reto Luzi was sent to the front line. Luzi, running on fresh legs, capitalized on the opportunity. He charged through the Rams defense and launched a powerful shot past Roaring Fork keeper Torrey Udall in the 78th minute. The Longhorns (3-0 Western Slope, 4-1 overall) quietly but confidently shut out their rivals, 5-0.”When I saw [the backup goalie] getting ready on the bench, I got a little excited,” Luzi said minutes after the final whistle. The smile on his face had not yet faded. “I was excited to get the chance to play and I gave it my all.”
Luzi was also in the middle of the action during the waning moments of last Tuesday’s league-opening win against Paonia. He assisted on senior Matt Klahn’s 80th minute goal in a 9-1 win.For much of Tuesday’s game, Luzi alternated between stretching and resting one gloved-hand and then the other on his hips. Only sparingly did an inexperienced Rams attack – 13 of the 20 players on the roster are freshman or sophomores – give him the chance to handle the ball. When Longhorns coach John McDermott decided to make the switch, Luzi eagerly loosened the Velcro on his gloves as he ran off the field. Seconds later he rushed toward the line to await the next substitution, new jersey in hand.
When his shot minutes later rattled the net, teammates and the Basalt faithful rose and delivered the match’s loudest ovation.”He’s such a good kid, and he really deserved to come out,” McDermott said.Luzi highlighted a balanced Basalt attack that wore down Roaring Fork for 80 minutes. Senior Ryan Zubizarreta opened the scoring in the 12th minute when he found an opening in the middle of the defense and launched a pass from Klahn past Udall. Five different players scored for Basalt, which has outscored 3A Western Slope opponents 20-2 in three games.
Basalt did struggle at times to move the ball through a tightly-packed Rams defense. But it also displayed flashes of brilliant play, as evidenced by senior Trevor Brown’s goal in the 25th minute. Brown worked his way through a pack of yellow jerseys on a corner kick from junior Mike Eaton and headed the ball home from the back post. “We are like a silent machine. We never erupt, but we go out and do the job,” McDermott said. “I always say soccer is 90 percent bad play, 8 percent good and 2 percent perfection when you actually score.” Sophomore Kevin Newland scored in the 45th minute when Udall went to the ground but failed to corral a loose ball near the Rams net. Seven minutes later, Eaton found some open space and scored on a well-struck ball from close range.
“We had some lapses, but that will happen because they’re all kids,” McDermott said. “I think we have a ways to go. It should be an interesting next couple of weeks.”The Longhorns next play Saturday at 11 a.m. at Colorado Rocky Mountain School.Jon Maletz’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
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