Prep roundup: Late goal lifts Basalt soccer
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado
BASALT – When one of his players was whistled for a yellow card and forced to leave the pitch late in the second half Saturday, Vail Mountain School girls soccer coach Bob Bandoni could not hide his frustration.
He exchanged a few heated words with the head referee. During the commotion, the game was restarted before the Gore Rangers were awarded a substitution.
Host Basalt took full advantage of the man-up advantage. The Longhorns flooded the VMS zone on the restart, and Katie King clipped the net with a powerful left-footed boot, propelling Basalt to a 2-1 victory.
“It was just a mistake, and they buried us for it,” Bandoni lamented afterward. “We didn’t have all 11 players on the field. All kinds of things were going on there.”
“We were fortunate,” Longhorns head coach Makenzie Eshelman admitted, “and Katie hit one of the prettiest shots I’ve ever seen.
“Our goal was to play hard for 40 minutes, and I think we did that today.”
The Longhorns (4-2), who were never tested in Tuesday’s 4-0 rout of Colorado Rocky Mountain School, faced an early deficit on a blustery Saturday. The Gore Rangers struck in the fourth minute, when Acacia Ortiz knifed through the Basalt defense, found an opening and fired a shot that slipped through Longhorns goalkeeper Emmalee Erickson’s gloves.
“She hasn’t played very much, so that’s going to happen,” Eshelman said of Erickson. “You need to know that defensively. It comes down to the fact that nobody stepped to that girl and she had a shot. We have to do better defensively.
“I don’t think that really affected them. I think they were like, ‘OK, here we go. We have to go now.'”
Basalt picked up the pace on offense. Little more than 10 minutes later, it was awarded a free kick from about 20 yards out; Tori Kungli lined up the ball and lofted a high shot that the VMS goalkeeper got a glove on but could not keep out of the net.
The Longhorns controlled possession for much of the game’s final 60 minutes.
“The whole game, there was no rhythm – from our side anyway,” Bandoni said. “They really disrupted us in the middle of the field. I thought we created some opportunities up front, but we couldn’t really capitalize on it. … We wanted to play more spaced out, but the space wasn’t available.”
King found some space down the stretch, and the senior did not hesitate. She took one step to her left and drilled a shot that she somehow managed to tuck in between the far post and the keeper.
“She really ripped that shot,” Eshelman said. “We played well and connected passes. It as pretty soccer to watch. … This was a must-win for us. I hope it gives us confidence.”
Basalt will take a step out of conference and take a step up in competition this week. The Longhorns visit 5A Grand Junction on Tuesday, then host 4A Battle Mountain at 4 p.m. Thursday.
• The shorthanded Aspen girls soccer team took just 11 varsity players to Saturday’s game against Montezuma-Cortez. The Skiers still managed to pull out a 1-0 win and improve to 6-0-1 overall.
Annie Graber drilled a shot from just outside the box that found the net in the 30th minute. The senior scored twice in Friday’s
5-0 victory in Rangely.
“The girl is on fire,” Gillies said. “She’s becoming a finished article – she’s hungry and ruthless.
“We were tremendous today. It was a time for everybody to step up, and they showed great heart and dug deep.”
Aspen hosts Eagle Valley at 4 p.m. Monday.
• The Skiers boys lacrosse team wrapped up a dominating two-game road trip Saturday with a 19-2 rout of Telluride.
Aspen, which topped Durango 16-3 on Friday, now is 8-1.
“The offense was clicking well, and we got a lot of run time for all the players,” Skiers head coach Mike Goerne said. “The guys were working on their stick skills and moving things around quickly, and obviously we got the shots and put the goals away.
Aspen hosts Grand Junction at 4 p.m. Tuesday.
• The Skiers girls lacrosse team battled back from a 6-2 halftime deficit and pulled out an 11-9 overtime victory Saturday against Grand Junction.
Olivia Porcaro and Shannon Turbidy each scored three goals, Libby Dowley and Nevada Crandall each netted one and Nina Christensen pitched in with one for the Aspen, which improved to 5-1.
The Skiers visit Steamboat Springs on Wednesday.
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Strange is a word that will likely define the winter high school sports season. But, after numerous delays and endless doubts, that season is finally here. It will include fewer games, more masks and a lot of empty seats, but adapting to that strangeness is better than the alternative.