Soccer: Basalt wins league title |

Soccer: Basalt wins league title

Jon Maletz
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado
Jim Ryan/Special to The Aspen TimesBasalt senior Raul Silva works against two Vail Mountain School defenders Thursday afternoon in Vail.

VAIL, Colo. – Basalt head soccer coach Brent Hayes figured his team would suffer a bit of a letdown after Tuesday’s emotional game against Coal Ridge.

Such was the case for 25 tense minutes in Thursday’s regular-season finale against Vail Mountain School. Then, the Longhorns finally mustered a goal. They wound up scoring twice more before the break, tacked on two more in the second half and rolled to a 3A Region 3 title-clinching 5-1 victory.

“It certainly took us a while to get going. … It was just a lack of energy,” said Hayes, whose squad has won back-to-back league championships. “I was extremely frustrated but not necessarily nervous. When people start packing the box, it’s been hard for us all year to crack through. I thought that we were getting a little too cute. I want the boys sometimes to take a chance down the field. We weren’t doing that.

“Then we got one, and things opened up from there.”

Hector Chacon broke a scoreless tie in the 25th minute. Teammates David Salguero and Elmer Rodriguez followed with goals to give the visitors a sizable cushion heading into the second half.

Willy Salamanca scored two times in the final 40 minutes, allowing Hayes to empty his bench and give some of his senior substitutes about 20 minutes of playing time.

With the victory, Basalt closes out the regular season 12-1-1 overall and 7-0-1 in league play. The Longhorns have secured themselves a top-16 seed in the 32-team 3A state tournament, thus guaranteeing themselves a home game in the first round.

Hayes thinks his squad has done enough to garner a top-8 seed. The field will be unveiled Sunday afternoon.

“I really can’t ask for a whole lot better. Our only loss came to a first-place 4A team [Battle Mountain], and we had a good tie against Coal Ridge, so yeah, it was a great season,” he added. “We should be considered for a top eight. I think we’re deserving. Either way, the boys are ready. They’ve got to beat everybody anyway.”

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