Perfect 3-0-0 start for Basalt boys soccer
The Aspen Times
BASALT — Add a new chapter to the blossoming soccer rivalry between the ultimate valley rivals — Basalt and Roaring Fork.
The Basalt High School boys soccer team scored two goals in a 3-minute span in the second half to stake out a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Roaring Fork on Tuesday afternoon at the BHS soccer field.
The Rams scored their goal just 15 seconds after the Longhorns’ second goal, ensuring a one-goal difference for much of the rivalry-tense second half.
“We were a little unfocused (in the first half),” Basalt senior Ivan Loya said. “It seemed like some of our players were overwhelmed at the start. It’s a big rivalry game … the nerves got us in the first half.”
But a deep breath and a halftime break, along with some settling words from head coach Brent Hayes helped the Longhorns end the scoreless tie when Basalt’s Juan Abrego controlled the ball deep in Roaring Fork’s end.
Abrego waited, waited, waited and then blasted a right-footed shot into the back of the net in the 69th minute of the 80-minute-plus match.
Less than 4 minutes later, the Longhorns built an attack with a number of touches and a shot finished by Caleb Rewinkle, seeing his first varsity duty.
But the 2-0 lead lasted just 15 seconds when the Rams’ pressure and a missed clearing opportunity led to Roaring Fork’s goal from Misael Ramos.
But the resilient Basalt defense, along with goalie Adrian Lujan, protected the rivalry win, improving the Longhorns to 3-0-0.
“As much as anything, we just got out of sorts in that first half,” Hayes said. “The first 10 minutes were good. But for the next 20 minutes, they took it to us. We were lucky to escape there.”
He said the Longhorns started to play better possession soccer right before halftime.
“All I told them (at the half) is that we’ve got to play our game,” the Basalt head coach said. “Roaring Fork is a very good possession team. When you play frantically, it just plays into their hands.”
The Rams nearly took advantage with an open shot from Gustavo Oliva that rolled just past the left post midway through the first half.
Then, Juan Clemente clanged a shot off the center of the crossbar just minutes later.
“We were able to build some things in the second half,” Hayes said. “We calmed down. And once we calmed down, we had great chances.”
But the one-goal margin late made for some nervous closing minutes on the Basalt sideline.
“It was a good game. That’s what I expected. They are good. I voted those guys top-10 in the coaches poll for good reason.”
Hayes and Loya agreed that the Longhorns still have work ahead.
“Defensively, some things were exposed,” Hayes said.
“We still have lots of things to work on,” said Loya, the son of Calos and Isabel Loya. “But that was a boost for us. It’s definitely a big statement game for us.”
The game was the season opener for the Rams, 0-1-0.
Basalt will host Class 4A Durango in a nonconference match Friday afternoon at the BHS soccer field.
As a team, Aspen finished third overall in its lone home tournament of the fall. The Skiers shot a collective 239, finishing 12 back of fellow 3A powerhouse Colorado Academy (227). Steamboat Springs, out of 4A, shot 225 to take the win.
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