Soccer: Aspen plays to scoreless draw against Lutheran
It was just about a flawless game for the Aspen High School boys soccer team Saturday against visiting Lutheran — except for the whole scoring thing.
It took 100 minutes of game time and dozens of missed opportunities before the teams ended in a scoreless draw at the AHS athletic field, the first non-loss of the season for the Skiers.
“We feel pretty frustrated about the result of that game. We had plenty of chances,” Aspen coach Dave Francis said of the draw. “It’s one of those games where if you don’t take those early chances, then the longer it goes, the longer it goes, and it becomes tougher and tougher.”
Aspen missed a couple of good opportunities to score early in the first half, goals that could have changed the entire tempo of the game. Instead, the Skiers let those opportunities slip by and were left with a tug-of-war battle with Lutheran (1-1 overall).
“We dominated the game for long periods of the game. Just couldn’t grab that goal,” Francis said. “They got a lot of guys in their own box defending. To a certain degree, you are relying on some very clean, precise play and a little bit of luck. We should have had two (goals) in the first 10 minutes, then I think it would have been a completely different game.”
Outside of a few lulls in the second half and both overtimes — and a couple of defensive mishaps that almost proved costly — the Skiers maintained possession and easily outshot the Lions. Lutheran’s goalie didn’t do anything spectacular, nor did the Aspen offense play poorly, it was just a lack of luck, according to Francis.
“We learned a lot. It was a good game for the boys. It was a game I felt we controlled quite well,” Francis said. “As the game goes by and you are not getting the breaks, you stop making the runs. And that’s kind of what happens in the second half.”
Aspen, a team with a lot of new faces seeing the field this season, is 0-2-1 after Saturday’s tie. The Skiers fell flat in a 4-0 loss to Jefferson Academy in the season opener, and then let a one-goal advantage slip away in a 4-2 loss at Vail Mountain on Thursday.
While Saturday’s tie wasn’t the win they were looking for, Francis feels the players have come a long way in only a week.
“We are taking big strides forward, but the season goes really, really quick,” Francis said. “Get your wins when you can, because at the end of the season when you’ve had your 15 games, the wins and losses don’t lie, and that’s everything going into playoffs.”
Aspen next hosts Summit on Tuesday and will play at Basalt on Thursday for its first league game.
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