Preps: Aspen High boys soccer bounces back to beat Basalt; BHS volleyball wins
The Aspen High School boys soccer team bounced back from a loss in the season opener to beat rival Basalt, 4-3, Tuesday on the BHS field.
Junior Charlie Forster scored three goals for the Skiers, while senior Landon Kiker had the other.
“It felt great. We played really well. We had good shape and moved the ball well,” AHS coach Dave Francis said. “We had good connection through the team. They played with confidence and created second chances. It was needed. It was needed after the Coal Ridge game. But the Coal Ridge game was for some of them their first game in nearly a year and a half.”
Aspen opened its season on Thursday with a 7-1 home loss to Coal Ridge. The Titans are ranked No. 7 in Class 3A this week, up from their preseason ranking at No. 10. Aspen was preseason No. 11 in 3A but fell out of the polls this week; CHSAANow.com is only ranking the top eight this week per classification.
Prior to facing Coal Ridge last week, Aspen had not played since Oct. 26, 2019, in their season finale. The fall 2020 soccer season was moved to Season C this spring as part of a modified schedule due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“We looked like we were a year behind. But this game, they came a long way in a short space of time,” Francis said. “We’ve barely played any soccer in the last year. We didn’t feel prepared for that first game. I didn’t feel quite prepared. It certainly wasn’t enough time to get ourselves into a good soccer playing shape. But it’s just great to be out, to be honest. It’s good to be back out on the field.”
Aspen, which traditionally has a lot of skiers on its team, is down quite a bit in numbers this season because of the move from fall to early spring. Many players who would normally be starting on junior varsity are being forced into crucial varsity minutes out of necessity.
Aspen’s spring season will go by quickly, as teams are only allowed a maximum of 10 games and postseason spots will be severely limited. Now 1-1, the Skiers next host Palisade on Thursday.
“We’ve got some freshmen in there that are battling for starting places,” Francis said. “In an ideal world, those young guys would be playing JV and getting an opportunity to be on the bench, but we simply don’t have that sort of luxury. So they are getting probably the best education they could.”
Basalt fell to 0-2 this season. The Longhorns lost 9-0 at Grand Junction in their season opener last week. BHS will next play Thursday at Delta.
Aspen volleyball loses to Eagle Valley, Basalt sweeps Roaring Fork
The Aspen High School volleyball team hosted Eagle Valley on Tuesday, falling 3-0. Set scores were 25-11, 25-15 and 25-13.
The Skiers (0-3) are not scheduled to play again until Monday at Glenwood Springs.
Also Tuesday night, it was Basalt earning its first win of the season over rival Roaring Fork in Carbondale, 3-0.
The Rams opened an 11-7 lead in the first set before the Longhorns came stampeding back to take the 25-18 win. It was all Basalt in the second set, 25-13, before Roaring Fork caught fire late.
The third set saw the Rams battle back from down 13-5 to make it interesting. Senior Lily Nieslanik served up several points in a row to give Roaring Fork a 17-14 lead on a series of Basalt miscues. But the Longhorns regrouped down the stretch to close it out with the 25-23 set win.
Basalt is next scheduled to host Delta on Friday.
The Post Independent’s John Stroud contributed to this report.
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Once the Aspen High School defense woke up — random 4 p.m. kickoffs need some getting used to — the Skiers were able to dictate Saturday’s football game en route to a 22-7 victory over visiting Steamboat Springs on the AHS turf.