Soccer: Aspen loses to Vail Mountain |

Soccer: Aspen loses to Vail Mountain

Aspen's Tyler Clayton, left, fights off a Vail Mountain attacker during Saturday's game on the AHS athletic field.
Austin Colbert/The Aspen Times |

Considering the Aspen High School boys soccer team was missing some key elements Saturday in its 4-0 home loss against Vail Mountain, AHS coach Dave Francis found plenty of reason to be happy.

“We are pretty patched up right now. We had three or four guys out there today who are JV players,” Francis said. “It was a tough game. They are a good team. But these guys should hold their head up high because they worked really, really hard today.”

Vail Mountain (4-1) is ranked No. 5 in Class 3A in the latest Colorado High School Activities Association poll. The Gore Rangers had already defeated Aspen once this season, winning 4-2 on Sept. 1 in Vail.

Vail Mountain led 2-0 at halftime of Saturday’s game. Eric Zdechlik scored the first goal on a free kick midway through the first half, with Nathan Rouaud scoring the second on a wild, contested shot with just under 10 minutes remaining until the break.

“We created some chances,” Francis said. “In a game like this, you know if you create a chance you have to have a high percentage of finishing. You got to be able to put your chances away.”

Rouaud scored again off a corner kick header in the 52nd minute, and Vail Mountain made it 4-0 on a goal by Peter Ferraro in the 61st minute.

Aspen fell to 1-5-1 overall with the loss. Its first win of the season came Tuesday in a 6-2 victory over Middle Park.

“I don’t know if they were necessarily feeling pressure. I think they were confident,” Francis said of the team’s early-season struggles. “Their game was working well. They just weren’t quite finishing it off in the final third. In that game the other day, they got their reward and put them in the back of the net.”

The Skiers will be back on the pitch Tuesday when it plays at Roaring Fork.

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