Rams prevail, Skiers struggle
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
A second-half goal by Israel Leyva lifted Roaring Fork to a 1-0 win over host Pagosa Springs in the first round of the 3A boys soccer state playoffs on Wednesday.
Rams goalkeeper Frank Adgate made nine saves in a shutout effort. His Pagosa counterpart, Zarek Jones, stopped 18 of the 19 shots he faced.
Roaring Fork, seeded 17th in the 32-team bracket, improved to 10-4-1 with the win over the 16th-seeded Pirates (10-6). The Rams will be on the road against No. 1 Colorado Springs Christian (16-0) in the second round on Saturday.
Wednesday’s win was the Rams’ second playoff victory in as many years. Last fall, the 26th-seeded Roaring Fork stunned No. 7 Kent Denver in the first round.
In other Western Slope action on Wednesday, Colorado Springs defeated Hotchkiss, 7-0.
It took the Aspen soccer team more than seven hours to reach Colorado Springs on Wednesday. The Skiers received a rude welcome once they finally stepped off the bus.
Fourth-seeded The Classical Academy struck for two goals in the first eight minutes, then blew its 3A state playoff opener with No. 29 Aspen wide open with four goals in the second half en route to a lopsided 6-0 victory.
“They were big, strong, physical and played a system, a 3-5-2. We couldn’t adjust to it right away,” said Skiers head coach Junior Sutherland. “In the first 10 minutes our heads were all over the place.
“It’s never easy to get off a bus and play the game.”
Aspen was forced to take an alternate route because of an accident on Vail Pass. Consequently, the Skiers did not arrive at the field until shortly before kick-off.
They appeared sluggish at the start, and the Titans took full advantage. Daniel Carlson and Brad Dyess staked TCA (10-5-1) to an early two-goal advantage.
Aspen (5-5-6) regrouped, holding the Titans scoreless for the next 50 minutes.
Things took a turn for the worse for the visitors from there, however. Sophomore Evan Young, the Titans’ top offensive threat, scored his 26th and 27th goals of the season on two free kicks in the second half.
Daylon Roitsch and Carlson tacked on two more scores down the stretch as TCA pulled away.
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