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Moyer goal lifts Aspen girls over Vail Mountain School

Jon Maletz
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN – What a season debut.

Wednesday, Aspen soccer player Kate Moyer returned from a two-week trip to Europe. She was admittedly jet-lagged Thursday afternoon but still logged considerable playing time in the Skiers’ game against Vail Mountain School.

The senior made her presence felt. Moyer struck with a goal in the 72nd minute, breaking a scoreless tie and propelling Aspen to a 1-0 victory – its third straight after a season-opening, double-overtime loss to rival Basalt.

Moyer, who missed Aspen’s first three games while visiting the University of St. Andrews and skiing in France, arrived home at around 9 p.m. Wednesday night. Less than 24 hours later, she was the lone player on the home team to sneak a shot past Gore Rangers goalkeeper Clare Elich.

Moyer sped up the far sideline, controlled a pass then drove past a defender before launching a low shot that clipped the net.

“I don’t know, I just decided to go for it, to dribble around that last defender,” she said.

“They were tough. They are always tough … but it did just look like it would be a matter of time,” Skiers head coach John Gillies added. “It’s good to have Kate back.”

The Skiers, fresh off a 9-0 rout of Grand Valley on Monday, generated multiple scoring chances in the opening half. Moyer lined up for a free kick from just outside the box in the 30th minute, but Elich smothered the attempt.

Moyer and Haley Rinaldi had open looks in the final two minutes, but both shots sailed wide.

“The longer [the scoring drought] goes on, the more anxious you get for a goal,” Gillies said. “The girls didn’t panic, though, which is good.”

Rather, Aspen (3-1) went on the attack early in the second half. They routinely flooded the VMS zone and fired at will on Elich.

The Gore Rangers (0-2), who had just one bench player, managed to come up with a key save or defensive stop. They also made Skiers fans hold their breaths with some strong runs the opposite way.

On multiple occasions, Aspen goalkeeper Lindsey Anderson rushed out of net to thwart an oncoming rush.

“We didn’t have so many [scoring chances] in the first half. Then, we started getting numbers forward in the second, and when you do that you are legitimately dangerous on the attack,” VMS head coach Bob Bandoni said.

“We’re OK [with the lack of depth]. In some ways it’s the way the game should be played. It asks more of us as far as fitness goes … but we don’t mind that.”

The extra minutes appeared to take its toll down the stretch, however. Moyer took advantage, handing the Gore Rangers their second 1-0 defeat in as many games.

“We’re playing around with some different lineups and we’re coming around,” Bandoni said. “It’s going to take a little while. We’re getting better every half we play.”

The Skiers are 2-1 in one-goal contests this season.

“It certainly would’ve been nice to head into spring break with four wins, but it’s OK. We’re getting better,” Gillies said. “At least now they’re playing football. They’re passing the ball around and playing as a team.”

Aspen will next visit Vail Christian at 3 p.m. on March 29.

jmaletz@aspentimes.com


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