Soccer: Aspen, Basalt settle for draw
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado
BASALT – While Thursday’s match with visiting Aspen amounted to nothing more than a friendly, the Basalt soccer team was hoping to save face after a humbling March loss to its rivals.
The Longhorns (7-4-2 overall, 6-2-1 league) gained a measure of redemption on a blustery afternoon in the midvalley. They overcame an early blunder with a 50th-minute goal from senior Katie King and ultimately settled for a 1-1 draw in this battle between two of 3A Region 3’s top squads.
“I think this just leaves them hungry,” said Basalt head coach Makenzie Eshelman, whose team is third in the conference standings. “I think they’re proud of what they accomplished today.”
Such was not the case when these two sides last squared off. The Skiers (9-1-2, 7-0-2) dominated throughout and downed the Longhorns, 4-1, notching their first victory over Basalt since April 2006.
Thursday’s opening minutes were similarly inauspicious for Eshelman’s bunch. It found itself in a one-goal hole after just five minutes; Aspen goalkeeper Sally McGuren booted a seemingly innocuous, wind-aided clear up the middle of the pitch that wound up bounding over the head and outstretched gloves of Longhorns goalkeeper Emmalee Erickson and into the net.
A goalkeeping gaffe squared things again in the 50th minute; the usually aggressive McGuren opted to remain in the box rather than chase down a loose ball. King took advantage, slipping between two defenders and drilling a shot into the bottom right corner.
“They’re goalkeeper misjudged the wind, and Sally backed off when she should’ve run out,” said Skiers head coach John Gillies, whose team can lock up a league crown with a win at Vail Mountain School on Thursday. “Concentrating for 80 minutes is a long time for anybody. A goalkeeper needs to make a choice – the worst thing you can have is one who thinks. Now, they’re hesitant. … It was a mistake, but that was a fine performance in the first half. It was the best I’ve seen her play. Really phenomenal.”
Aspen plays a friendly with Coal Ridge at 11 a.m. Saturday, while Basalt next visits 4A Glenwood Springs on Monday.
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