Preps: Aspen boys soccer rallies, falls in double OT to Palisade; BHS draws at Delta
The Aspen High School boys soccer team battled back late to force extra time against a much bigger Palisade team on Thursday, only to fall in double overtime, 3-2, on the AHS turf.
“Our guys were a little intimidated going into the game, but we played really well again,” Aspen coach Dave Francis said. “I thought we controlled a lot of the first half. We were unfortunate to not at least grab a goal. Then to go two goals down and come back to 2-2, I thought showed great character, too. This team is proving to be a team, which I’m super excited about.”
The Skiers played to a scoreless halftime break, but the Bulldogs managed to score twice relatively early in the second half for a 2-0 lead.
That advantage held until late, when AHS scored with about five minutes to play to make it 2-1, and then found the equalizer with less than two minutes to go in regulation. AHS even had another shot bounce off the goal post before regulation ended.
The teams went into the second overtime period still tied at 2-2 before the Bulldogs scored the game-winner.
“They are a little undersized and definitely younger than the average team we are coming up against, but from a soccer sense they are competing,” Francis said of his players.
Senior Landon Kiker and freshman Will Gerardi scored the two goals for Aspen.
Palisade, a member of the Class 3A Western Slope League this season, improved to 3-0-1 overall. The Bulldogs will play at Roaring Fork on Tuesday.
Aspen dropped to 1-2 overall and 0-2 in WSL play. After a 7-1 loss to Coal Ridge in the opener, AHS bounced back with a 4-3 win over rival Basalt on Tuesday.
“That’s probably the most pleasing thing about this group is their mentality,” Francis said. “They just keep playing and they are getting their reward for it. A lot of it is down to them and the captains and how they are talking to them and really pulling the group along.”
Basalt played to a somewhat surprising 1-1 draw against Delta on Thursday. Delta, now 2-0-1, is ranked No. 5 in Class 3A this week in the CHSAANow.com poll, two spots ahead of No. 7 Coal Ridge.
BHS now is 0-2-1 after losses to Grand Junction and Aspen to open the season. The Longhorns play at Coal Ridge on Tuesday.
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Cory Parker once roamed the halls of Aspen High School as a student, graduating in 2008 as one of the best basketball players in program history. For the past five seasons, since returning home, he’s helped rebuild AHS basketball as an assistant coach alongside Alex Schrempf.