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Soccer: Basalt turns it on late, blanks CRMS

Jon Maletz
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado
Jim Ryan/Special to The Aspen TimesLonghorns junior Tori Kungli lines up a shot during Tuesday's game against Colorado Rocky Mountain School in Basalt.
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BASALT – Basalt head soccer coach Makenzie Eshelman could do little to hide her frustration Tuesday.

Her Longhorns were scuffling against visiting Colorado Rocky Mountain School. Despite controlling possession and the pace of play, they struggled to connect passes and appeared winded in their first game back from spring break.

“At this point, I just have to laugh, right?” she quipped to assistant Brent Hayes during the early stages of the second half.



Her squad gave Eshelman plenty of reason to smile down the stretch, however. The Longhorns shook off the rust, striking for four goals in the match’s final 22 minutes to pull out a 6-0 victory.

“The problem I saw was a lack of intensity. That’s something you choose to have, something that doesn’t come and go because of spring break. They were just flat,” Eshelman said. “They actually started listening [in the second half]. They were so focused on dribbling, which is something that is not effective. When we pass, pass and shoot, we’re hard to beat.”




Basalt did little of that during a decidedly sloppy first 40 minutes. Still, they jumped out a 2-0 lead courtesy of Tori Kungli.

The junior somehow managed to slip past two onrushing defenders in the 10th minute, then clipped the net with a line drive.

She converted once more about 7 minutes before halftime, firing a shot from a difficult angle that found the far corner.

“I feel like if we practiced more [during the break], we would’ve played a lot better,” Kungli admitted. “We picked up the intensity a little [in the second half].”

After a few lackluster moments, at least.

In the 58th minute, Katie King shook a defender on a run up the far side, controlled a well-placed pass and fired a shot that drilled the crossbar and bounded into the net.

Less than 10 minutes later, Jamie Matherly pushed the lead to four when she hit a powerful ground ball that appeared to deflect off a CRMS defender before sneaking into the corner of the net.

Kungli kept the momentum going, securing a hat trick with a goal about

1 minute later. She lofted a shot from about 20 yards out that caught the wind, curved and hit nylon.

“Tori, that was cool!” teammate Ginevra Moore yelled from across the pitch.

Moore provided a highlight reel-caliber play of her own in the waning minutes, knifing through the defense and scoring on a powerful boot to finish off the scoring – and CRMS.

“Practice yesterday was not pretty and neither was today, but we got into a groove,” Eshelman said. “Hitting the back of the net is always nice.”

With the victory, Basalt improved to 5-0 overall and 3-0 in 3A Western Slope play. It is outscoring opponents, 23-1, this spring.

The Longhorns host 5A Grand Junction at 3:30 p.m. Friday.

jmaletz@aspentimes.com


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