Skiers tune up for Basalt, beat CRMS
Aspen girls soccer coach John Gillies had no trouble vocalizing his displeasure with his team’s play during the opening minutes of the second half.While his team was ahead by two goals against Colorado Rocky Mountain School, Gillies was more concerned about the scoring chances that sailed wide right and left of the goal. With each miss, the volume increased.”You gotta start finishing those,” Gillies yelled to no one in particular. “You’re getting all Mickey Mouse on me.”
The Skiers responded with five goals in the first 30 minutes of the second half to coast to a 7-0 win in their final tuneup before today’s showdown with Western Slope rival Basalt.”In the first half we were eager to score, but maybe a little too eager,” Gillies said. “We spread the ball around and played better in the second.”Three minutes into the second, sophomore Emma Duke slipped past a CRMS defender and scored. One minute later, sophomore Julia Hassall controlled the ball with her back to the goal, turned and fired into the bottom left corner of the net, pushing the Aspen advantage to 4-0.Less than a minute later when Carly Magill headed home a perfect corner kick from Emily Hassall. Magill, who played in goal for the Skiers in years past and earlier this year, adjusted well to her new role.
“It took Carly just one game against Vail to adjust to playing on the field,” Gillies said. “It’s outstanding what she’s already achieving.”With rain falling steadily, Aspen continued to push the ball into the box, overwhelming the CRMS defense. Senior Emily Hassall, who scored midway through the first half, scored the Skiers’ sixth goal, faking out her defender and firing a shot from outside the box. Her sister, sophomore Julia, knocked in Aspen’s other goal in the first 40 minutes. At 25 minutes, Taylor Buzbee scored on a strong shot from out in front of the CRMS goal. With the game well in hand and conditions worsening by the minute, Aspen seemed content to run out the clock.Aspen (3-0) is finally starting to come together as a team and is displaying the desire and passion Skiers teams have lacked in years past, Gillies said. He pointed to this time last year when CRMS caught his Skiers looking ahead to Basalt.
Gillies said he is impressed with the pressure his defense has put on opponents. He certainly would love to see more potential goals find the back of the net, but said that will come once the team acclimates to playing on grass instead of a gym floor.His only concern heading into today is whether Aspen can continue to perform when the tension and defensive intensity mounts. “Given the space, we’ve proven we can play soccer,” Gillies said. “I wonder if we can continue to play graceful soccer when we’re under pressure. I think we’ll be able to adjust.”Jon Maletz’s e-mail address is email@example.com
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