Lady ‘Horns keep streak alive
Basalt’s Kari Heuer, Sophie Stenstadvold and Katie Staerkel combined for a sweet goal – the only goal, as it turned out – and keeper Autumn Caughern recorded the shutout as the Lady Longhorns edged Roaring Fork 1-0 in the Class 3A Western Slope League regular-season finale Tuesday afternoon in Basalt.
Undefeated at 10-0 in league and 12-1 overall, Basalt pushed its win streak to 10 straight games and its run without allowing a goal to eight games. Roaring Fork, which like Basalt is headed for the Class 3A state tournament, dropped to 5-5 in league and 7-5 overall.
Basalt bombarded Roaring Fork goalie Whitney Campbell with 44 shots, according to a running tally on the BHS sideline, but the match became a game of Basalt attack and Roaring Fork counterattack. The Lady Longhorns and their resilient defensive line kept the ball in the Roaring Fork zone for much of regulation, but goals, for once, proved hard to come by for the prolific Basalt, which has outscored opponents 40-to-nil over the last eight games.
The lone goal came with about two minutes remaining in the first half. Heuer, a junior, stole the ball from a Roaring Fork defender deep along the right wing, then launched a cross to the far post over Campbell’s head. Stenstadvold, who patrolled the left wing all day, slashed in to meet the cross, catching it off her left thigh and directing it back across the front of the net – and perhaps on its way in – when Staerkel headed it out of the air into the back of the net.
One moment, three touches and one goal.
Basalt and Roaring Fork both had prime scoring chances in the second half, but goalies Caughern and Campbell wouldn’t allow it.
Basalt now has a week off and a bye to the round of 16 in the Class 3A state tournament, while Roaring Fork will play an opening-round match this weekend. (The bracket will be finalized later this week.)
“We played like this against Eagle Valley,” said Basalt coach Chris Woods, referring to a 9-0 BHS win last Thursday. “The difference is all our shots went in against Eagle Valley. But a win’s a win and we’d rather get a win like this now than in the playoffs.
“Roaring Fork played well – every time we got the ball, they were all over us,” Woods continued. “And while we didn’t get the calls we’re used to, we still scratched out a determined win. But I’d say Roaring Fork is ready for the playoffs.”
Roaring Fork coach Brad Zeigel said his team didn’t try to take out Basalt head-on.
“We talked about being really patient and trying to counterattack,” he said. “And it was good for us to have numbers up because they were having a hard time getting through us.”
Basalt’s Caughern, who made at least two dandy saves to preserve the shutout streak and the victory at hand, credited her defensive line for making it possible.
“A tough win like this makes me more confident in our defensive line,” said Caughern, a senior. “I kind of feel like a quarterback – you can’t do your job without a good line. So I might get the shutout, but it’s all about the defensive line,” including Amanda Schmitt, Brittany Pollock, Rochelle Moebius, Deanna Spracher and Maria Jacobsen.
“Even when we’re beating a team like 9-0,” Caughern continued, “you still want the shutout. But this was a good experience today because goals were hard to come by. It was a good challenge and now we know what we’ve got to work on in practice to get ready for the playoffs.”
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