Roundup: Skiers soccer falls to Hotchkiss in extra time
HOTCHKISS, Colo. – Six of the Aspen soccer team’s games ended in draws last season, a source of consternation for both players and head coach Junior Sutherland.
The group would’ve liked to have salvaged a tie Saturday in Hotchkiss, however. The Skiers twice erased deficits to force extra time thanks in part to three goals – all on penalty kicks – from Erick Perez. The Bulldogs ultimately prevailed, however, producing a game winner in the first overtime to escape with a 5-4 victory.
“Losing in overtime is tough, but it’s not like it’s our first one,” Sutherland said. “We gave it a good show and did our best. I’m proud of the way we played.”
Perez’s first goal helped Aspen square the game early in a seesaw first half. John Heaphey gave the Skiers a momentary lead with a score shortly before the break, but Hotchkiss converted right before the halftime whistle to knot things at two.
That momentum carried over in the second half, as the Bulldogs amassed a
4-2 advantage. Undaunted, Aspen continued to push the pace, resulting in two more PK opportunities; Perez hit the net on both – the last coming with just
5 minutes in regulation.
“They battled really well and got back into the game,” Sutherland said. “They showed great heart and great fight. … [Hotchkiss is] a big, pretty strong team.”
With the loss, the Skiers dropped to
2-2. They visit valley rival Basalt at 4 p.m. Thursday.
• A balanced attack and some late-match heroics helped the Aspen volleyball team climb back to .500.
The Skiers picked up home wins over Grand Valley (3-0) and Rifle (3-1) to snap a three-game slide and improve to 3-3 on the young season.
“It was a great day,” Aspen head coach Clayton Dahlman said. “There were some ups and downs for sure, but coming away with two wins is always good.”
The Skiers jumped out to an early 2-0 lead against the Cardinals in the afternoon’s match, then lost some momentum in the third game. They trailed, 22-13, prompting a timeout from Dahlman.
“At a certain point you start looking at lineups for the next game. … I just told them we had to stop the bleeding, correct their play and talk about playing with intensity,” Dahlman said. “They fought all the way back.”
Aspen somehow managed to erase the deficit, and at one point took a 25-24 lead. It wound up prevailing, 30-28. Bailey Everhart led the way with 18 kills and 26 digs, while Maggie Ryan pitched in with 12 kills and eight blocks.
“There was one play where the ball should’ve hit the ground at least two times. The girls were diving and playing with 100 percent effort,” Dahlman said. “That was a sweet victory.”
The Skiers parlayed that momentum into a relatively convincing victory against Rifle – save for more struggles in Game 3; After 25-15 and 25-23 wins, the Bears rolled to a 25-13 victory to extend the match.
“We got comfortable and stopped attacking, and they did a good job of keeping it in play,” Dahlman said. “It was kind of a meltdown.”
Aspen rallied in Game 4, however, cruising to a 25-13, match-clinching win. Everhart had 10 kills and 24 digs, while Ryan produced seven kills.
“Things are developing quickly this season,” Dahlman said. “We’re on the fast track.”
The Skiers host Cedaredge (noon) and Hotchkiss (6 p.m.) next Saturday.
Basalt also hosted Rifle and Grand Valley on Saturday. Head coach Mike Whittlef did not return calls seeking comment.
• Fresh off their 5-2 victory over Central High School on Thursday, the Aspen tennis team took part in Friday and Saturday’s Western Slope Open in Grand Junction.
Friday’s action was highlighted by Kalen Gabow and Grant Goodman pulling off a tight win against Air Academy at No. 2 doubles. The duo prevailed, 10-7, in a tiebreaker.
Head coach Rob Simpson did not return calls seeking comment Saturday.
• The Aspen cross country team took part in Saturday’s Battle Mountain High School Invitational at Beaver Creek.
The Huskies’ Mandy Ortiz and Sydney Gaylord went 1-2 in the girls’ race as the Battle Mountain girls nipped Aspen by one point in the team title hunt.
Head coach Chris Keleher did not return calls seeking comment and results were not available by press time.
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