Lady ‘Horns lose soccer opener |

Lady ‘Horns lose soccer opener

Tim Mutrie

The Basalt High girls soccer team opened its season with a 3-1 loss at Grand Junction Central Tuesday afternoon.Basalt fell behind 3-0 in the first half, but the seven-time defending Class 3A Western Slope League champion Lady Longhorns settled into a rhythm in the second. Junior striker Maddie Hoffman, a top-five scorer last season in Colorado’s Class 3A, scored Basalt’s only goal.Basalt coach Chris “Woodsie” Woods, an Australian, took a “no worries” approach to the defeat.”With such a new team makeup, it’s going to take us at least a couple games to field all the positions and get it down,” he said. “And in the second half, the girls started putting it together.”Hoffman’s goal was apparently pretty sweet. Woods explained:”She tracked the keeper down, tackled her and took the ball off her, and then just dribbled into the goal,” the coach said. “It was pretty comical. But all the girls can learn a lesson from that kind of play – to never give up.”Last year, Basalt advanced to the Class 3A final four.”We’re a young team, but also a strong team, and very fast,” said Woods. “We’re actually going to surprise a lot of people, I believe. Everyone’s saying this a rebuilding year, but I’ll never call it that. We’re pretty much reloading and we’re going to train hard, run hard and go hard, no excuses.”Some of the familiar faces returning this season include sophomore forward Katie Staerkel and senior forward Sofie Stenstadvold. “Katie’s going to come up big time for us again,” said Woods, “and Sofie’s burning up the wing as usual.”Returning starters also include Hoffman, senior sweeper Deanna Spracher, senior midfielder Kari Heuer, sophomore defender Emily Birk and junior midfielder Kate Wilson.Goalies Darbi Scherer, a junior, and Dayne Toney, a freshman, split time in net in Tuesday’s opener and will share duties this season, Woods said.On Saturday at 11 a.m., Basalt hosts its first match of the season against Rangely, another nonleague opponent. The team hopes to capitalize on its unique home-field advantage, Woods said.”The field’s the same as normal,” he said, which is to say, “hard and bumpy and extremely fast.””Just the way we like it,” Woods continued, “the way we’re used to. We don’t believe in too much grass. We like a fast field. We love it. And we know where the bounces are. But, sure, everybody else isn’t too fond of it.”Looking ahead, Woods said the team will settle into its own.”We have spaces to fill, but with our depth from last year, all these girls could’ve started on pretty much any other team, so it’s just a matter of getting some match experience. And I’ve got four freshmen on the roster as well, who I think will surprise quite a few people. But I don’t want to give too much away,” Woods said.Tim Mutrie’s e-mail address is

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