What rivalry? Lady ‘Horns school Aspen
Senior Ashley Eaton scored a hat trick and the stringent Basalt defense combined for its fifth consecutive shutout as the Lady Longhorns cruised past Aspen 7-0 on a wet and cold Thursday afternoon at AHS.
Combined with another 7-0 win over the Skiers in Basalt on April 15, Basalt exerted itself mightily over Aspen to take the regular-season series by a margin of two touchdowns to nil. And to think that matches between the teams once constituted a fierce rivalry.
Senior goalie Autumn Caughern recorded the shutout as Basalt won its eighth-straight overall and fifth-straight without allowing a single goal (by a combined score of 29-0). Junior Sophie Stenstadvold scored in the first minute and sophomore Maddie Hoffman followed with a pair of goals before Eaton was sprung on a breakaway for a goal toward the end of the first half.
Junior Kari Heuer and two goals from Eaton rounded out the scoring in the second half.
“Scoring in the first 30 seconds [by Stenstadvold] is always nice, but for the next 10 or 20 minutes, Aspen really pressed our defense and looked good,” said Heather Walker, who coaches Basalt with Chris Woods.
“And then we were able to get some goals,” Walker continued. “I think our fitness level is what’s carrying us through. We seem to be playing harder at the end.”
The Longhorns improved to 8-0 in the Class 3A Western Slope League and 9-1 overall. Aspen dropped to 3-4 in league and 3-7 overall.
“We played better, but Basalt played clever, hanging back and taking their breakaways,” said Aspen coach John Gillies. “But the score line, though disappointing, doesn’t reflect how well we played. They’re showing passion, at least, they’re trying. But we were too flatfooted, and we weren’t reacting as quick as they were.
“And Basalt finished their chances and that’s a compliment to them,” he added. “We never did anything with ours.”
On Saturday, Basalt hosts Montrose at 1 p.m. at the BHS field. A solid team each year, the larger Class 4A Montrose fell to Basalt for the first time in school history two years ago. Last year, however, Montrose resumed its winning tradition against Basalt.
Aspen plays at Vail Mountain on Tuesday.
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The 2020-21 Nordic combined season was supposed to be historic. This winter was going to be the first ever with women’s Nordic combined World Cup events, the first scheduled for Dec. 3-6 in Lillehammer, Norway.