Aspen girls soccer finishes strong in 5-1 non-league home win over rival Basalt

The Aspen High School girls soccer team will play on the AHS Basalt lawn on Wednesday, April 20, 2022.
Austin Colbert/The Aspen Times

Some halftime adjustments helped the Aspen High School girls’ soccer team part ways with rival Basalt on Wednesday, with the Skiers winning 5-1 in their first game of the season under the lights on the AHS turf.

“We shifted things around a bit at halftime and that paid off in the second half,” said AHS coach Chris Ellis. “They have some good, fast players. And because it’s a rivalry, there’s always a little bit more effort that people put into the occasion, which I love. I think that’s great. But at half-time we changed things up a bit. I just had the feeling that we got the game under control a little better in the second half.”

The win kept Aspen undefeated this season, with only a 1-1 draw at Resurrection Christian on Monday preventing the Skiers from achieving a truly perfect mark.

It was Basalt’s second loss in as many nights after the team fell 3-1 in a competitive non-league game at Glenwood Springs on Tuesday. Wednesday’s game against Aspen had been postponed from last week after winter weather forced postponements across all sports.

“It’s unfortunate how our schedule has turned out this year,” said BHS freshman coach Molly DeMarr. “After last night I was incredibly proud of her. We were just tired. My girls are exhausted. They’re worn out. I think we had a sub or two today, that was it.”

Aspen quickly took the lead against Basalt. Jenny Ellis scored a penalty barely five minutes into the game and about three minutes later Lexi Cordts-Pearce scored a rebound to make it 2-0 for Skiers, not even 10 minutes into the game.

The game settled down after that, with Basalt’s Sarah Levy scoring to make it 2-1 at halftime 17 minutes before the break, with the Longhorns being very good in the mix.

“What I’ve always said to my girls and from my experience as a football player, a 2-0 lead is really the worst place to go,” DeMarr said of repelling a 2-0 deficit when leading teams tend to pull back on offense and let their opponents climb back in. “It kind of puts a fire under our feet. But we were just starting to fall apart there. We can play so well and then somehow lose touch. But hopefully we’ll soon be able to line everything up here.”

The Longhorns missed two starters in addition to back-to-back games and were unable to keep up after halftime. Ellis scored her second goal about seven minutes into the second half to make it 3-1, and the Skiers clinched it with two late goals within about a minute from Cordts-Pearce and Alika Bassi.

“They had a very tough game on Monday,” said Chris Ellis, referring to Aspen’s journey to Resurrection Christian. “It was pretty physical. We had a few hits and bruises and whatever but they came back well tonight, came back strong and especially in the second half I thought they played very well.

Aspen and Basalt are scheduled to meet again on May 2nd at BHS Field in a league game. Before that, the 7th-ranked Skiers (7-0-1 overall) will face Delta next in a non-league game on Saturday, while the Longhorns (4-4-1 overall) are back in a league game at Rifle on Thursday .

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