Soccer: Basalt runs away from Grand Valley, eyes Delta
Only a year ago, the Basalt High School boys soccer team started the season 0-5 before winning eight of its final 10 regular-season games, the season ending with a 3-2 loss to Sheridan in the first round of the Class 3A state tournament.
This fall, the Longhorns are hoping to avoid the necessity of late-season dramatics, and so far, so good. Following Saturday’s 8-2 win over Grand Valley in Basalt, BHS is 6-2 overall and a perfect 3-0 in league play.
“I feel good; 3-0 in league is good, but we have our toughest games coming up still,” Basalt coach Brent Hayes said. “Probably Delta is going to be one of the deciding games of the year. It’s between Delta and us.”
Basalt will host Delta (7-2 overall) at 4 p.m. Tuesday, in a game that will go along way in deciding the 3A Western Slope League. Coal Ridge, Vail Mountain and possibly Roaring Fork look to be the other candidates for the WSL title.
Grand Valley (0-8-1) certainly isn’t in that picture, but did test Basalt for at least a half Saturday. The Longhorns did lead 2-0 at halftime, but it wasn’t the sort of play the team was hoping for out of the gate.
“First half we had a rough time getting it together. We switched up a couple of things on the field, and we got the result we kind of wanted,” Basalt senior Javier De La Cruz said. “That’s not what matters now. What matters now is who we play on Tuesday. Next week we have a busy schedule, so come back Monday with a hard practice and be ready to take on those three games.”
The Longhorns put on a scoring clinic in the second half, scoring six goals after the break. Four of those goals came in the span of about nine minutes.
Grand Valley avoided the shutout by scoring two goals in the final three minutes.
“It was definitely a slow start coupled with the fact they’ve got an absolutely amazing goalkeeper,” Hayes said. “At halftime, I said we need to calm down, stop diving in, just be confident, and they seemed to listen. They started coming in bunches, so that’s good. A few guys got their first goals.”
It was score by committee for Basalt. Bear Matthews and Elmer Bonilla each had two goals, while Roman Ceja, Pablo Rivera, Aaron Lopez and Gervis Ramos each had one.
Also Saturday, the Aspen High School boys soccer team played at Moffat County, losing 2-1 in overtime. Edgar Ortiz scored the lone goal for the Skiers. Aspen (1-7-1) will host Grand Valley at 4 p.m. Tuesday.
David Stapleton is the development officer for the Aspen Valley Ski & Snowboard Club. A product of the club, AVSC sat down with Stapleton for a Q&A session in this week’s Clubhouse Chronicles.