Huge turnout for Aspen girls soccer this season

Dale Strode
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO, Colorado

ASPEN – Eager?

No doubt.



The Aspen High School girls soccer team will kick off the season at 4 p.m. Thursday against valley rival Basalt.

The game will be played on the all-weather artificial turf at Aspen High School.

The first game can’t get here quick enough for the Skiers, with more than 50 players out for girls soccer this season.

“We had a huge turnout. I was very pleased,” head coach John Gillies said. “Last year, we lost 16 seniors, I think. That’s a whole lot.”

But the new troops this season will help replace those seniors, he said.

“The future looks very, very good. We’ve got an amazing group of freshmen who came out. Some have played. Some haven’t played before,” Gillies said.

He said the Skier will try to work on their teamwork during Thursday’s season opener, concentrating on fundamental skills.

“It’s difficult playing in the spring,” said Gillies, in his 13th season as the Aspen head coach.

“We’ve been in the gym a lot,” he said, adding the Skiers managed a full-field, outdoor practice Wednesday afternoon.

He said all-conference senior Sally McGuren will return to anchor the Skiers’ defense. The goalkeeper will start for her fourth consecutive season.

“She’s been solid every year. And she has the ability to lead,” Gillies said of the keeper who moved to the Aspen area from Australia several years ago.

Senior Katrina Kiawiter also returns from a year ago as does Annabelle Wilcox, another Aspen senior.

Wilcox and Shannon Waititi have worked well together in the past, Gillies said. They’ll work together again after Waititi returns to full speed from a hockey injury.

“We have lots a great new players,” Gillies said. “Juniors, sophomores, a lot of great players.”

Areanne Gallant, the former sweeper, will move to an attacking midfield position this year, Gillies said.

Katherine Milette will step into the sweeper role.

“Basalt, I’m sure, will want revenge from last year,” Gillies said. “It’ll be who want it more.

The Skiers also likely will play at home on Saturday. The match originally was scheduled at Roaring Fork in Carbondale, but field conditions forced the soccer match to be moved to Aspen.