Unbeaten Fruita edges Basalt in OT | AspenTimes.com

Unbeaten Fruita edges Basalt in OT

Tim Mutrie
Basalt High goalie Darbi Scherer punts the ball back into play after making a save against Fruita Monument at the BHS field Monday. Aspen Times photo/Mark Fox.

Hollis Howery scored on a quick-hitting counter-attack three minutes into the first sudden-death overtime period to lift Fruita Monument over the Basalt High girls soccer team 2-1 Monday afternoon at the BHS field.Fruita, a large, Class 5A school from the Southwestern League, rallied back from a 1-0 deficit in the first half to remain undefeated on the season at 9-0-2 overall. Basalt dropped to 8-3 overall (the Lady Longhorns still stand at 7-0 in Class 3A Western Slope League play).It marked Basalt’s first loss since a 3-0 defeat to another non-league opponent, Denver Christian, on April 9. In between, Basalt cruised past four league foes by a combined score of 28-2.Monday’s match was hotly contested throughout, a back-and-forth affair that placed a premium on defense. Basalt’s sweeper and stopper, seniors Deanna Spracher and Sofie Stenstadvold, respectively, and striker, sophomore Katie Staerkel, never left the field through the 83 or so minutes of action.And it was Staerkel who put Basalt on the scoreboard first with a goal in the 30th minute. Freshman Alia Munger beat a Fruita defender along the left wing, creating time and space to work. She lofted a cross to the top of the goalie box where junior forward Maddie Hoffman tipped it over toward Staerkel. “Sparkles,” as she’s known, then belted a shot from about 20 yards out, beating diving Fruita goalie Jessica Hunter to the far, left post.

Fruita’s Erin Smith provided the equalizer 16 minutes into the second half. Smith ripped a shot from about the same spot Staerkel had, and Basalt junior goalie Darbi Scherer (who replaced freshman Dayne Toney at the half) got in front of the ball, but it deflected off her and into the goal.After regulation played out in a deadlock, the match went to the first of two five-minute, sudden-death overtime periods. And seconds after Basalt senior Kari Heuer drilled a shot into the hands of goalie Hunter, Hunter boomed a kick in the opposite direction. Howery settled the ball on the roll, beat one last Basalt defender on the run and then tapped a shot past Scherer to the right post for the game-winner.”Basalt surprised my girls,” said Fruita coach Pat Noland. “I think we came in with a superior attitude, even though we knew they were good and we told them they were good. And you’ve got to hand it to Basalt – they’re tough.”Basalt goalie Toney made nine saves in the first half; Scherer made 11 in the second.”I think Fruita let out a big sigh of relief after this one,” said Basalt coach Chris Woods. “But we always want to play tougher teams like these guys, and they’re a good team. And to have it come down like it did – a real quick reversal – well, we’re OK with that.”

“I thought it was one of the better games we’ve played all year.”Montrose 6, Aspen 3The Aspen High girls soccer team lost to the larger, Class 4A Montrose 6-3 in a non-league match on the road Monday afternoon.Aspen trailed 5-2 at halftime, though the Skiers missed a penalty shot that could have made for a more interesting second half, according to Aspen coach John Gillies.”They’re big strong girls and very classy players,” said Gillies. “We played some good football, but they were too much.”

Junior Emily Hassall scored two goals for Aspen and younger sister Julia, a freshman, knocked in the third goal. Junior Carly Magill got the loss in net for Aspen.”We went up 1-nil early and it surprised them,” said Gillies. “Then they rotated some players and equalized fairly quickly.”Aspen dropped to 5-6-1 overall on the season. Aspen remains the No. 2 team in the Class 3A Western Slope League standings, behind No. 1 Basalt, at 4-2-1.Aspen hosts Basalt in a league match on Thursday at 4 p.m. at the AHS field.Tim Mutrie’s e-mail address is mutrie@aspentimes.com

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