Salazar stops late PK as Basalt boys soccer beats Aspen for season sweep
History tried to repeat itself on Thursday, but Mateo Salazar made sure that didn’t happen. The senior goalie made a critical save for the Basalt High School boys soccer team, which held on to beat visiting Aspen 2-1 on the BHS field in a game that did its best to replicate the finish of their season opener.
“We just have this really bad habit of getting silly penalties right at the end of half, right at the end of the game,” BHS coach Brent Hayes said. “We got one back, finally. They hadn’t had much opportunity and just one little quick strike like that and Mateo saved the day. He’s done that a couple of times, just in other ways.”
When the teams met in the Aug. 22 season opener in Aspen, the Skiers lost 2-1 in overtime but not before AHS junior Landon Kiker scored off a penalty kick with about three minutes to play in regulation that tied the game. In Thursday’s rematch, Kiker was again awarded a PK with about three minutes to play, Aspen trailing by a goal, but this time it was Salazar who made the play to lift the Longhorns to the win.
“It’s a shame we couldn’t tie it up at the end there,” AHS coach Dave Francis said. “I thought we played some good soccer. We always struggle on this field.”
The Skiers led the game 1-0 after a goal early in the first half, scored by Max Brenninger as he cleaned up a shot originally by Charlie Forster. Basalt got the equalizer about 10 minutes later courtesy of Angel Arce and the teams went to halftime tied 1-1.
“We got a little loose their in the first half. Stopped connecting lines properly, which meant that we were in bad positions,” Francis said. “But we found our composure later. Their goal was from nothing. It should have never happened. We should have cleaned that up. Miscommunication in our backline. But it happens from time to time.”
The game-winner was scored by Basalt’s Jacob Powersmith just shy of 10 minutes into the second half.
Aspen fell to 1-5 overall and 1-2 in league play, the lone win coming over Moffat County on Tuesday, 11-1. The Skiers play at Roaring Fork on Saturday.
For Basalt, now 3-4-1 overall and 1-1 in league play, the win meant a season sweep of Aspen for the first time since the 2012 season. BHS had a win and a tie against Aspen in the 2013 season, and was swept by the Skiers in 2014 and 2018. The season-opening win last month was the first for Basalt on Aspen’s field since 2015.
“That was a great win. It’s been a while since we were fortunate enough to take two off of Aspen,” Hayes said of Thursday’s game. “It’s been the other way around a few times the last couple of years. Great win. I think it’s the first time we’ve actually played a full game all year, so that was nice to see.”
The Longhorns are off until hosting Coal Ridge on Tuesday.
Basalt volleyball falls in four at Coal Ridge
The Basalt High School volleyball team played Thursday at Coal Ridge, falling in four sets. The Titans, a perennial force in the 3A Western Slope League, won the first two sets by scores of 25-22 and 25-11. The Longhorns rallied to steal the third set 26-24 before losing the fourth, 25-15.
The Titans improved to 9-2 overall with the win and stayed perfect in league play. Coal Ridge is effectively ranked No. 11 in 3A this week. Basalt dropped to 5-6 overall and 2-1 in league play. The Longhorns next host Crested Butte on Oct. 5.