Skiers rally to tie Longhorns

Aspen Times staff report
Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Jim Ryan contributed photo

BASALT, Colorado – Up 2-0 at halftime, Basalt’s girls soccer team had to know a victory wasn’t a sure thing.

Not against Aspen.

“They play us like it’s going out of style,” joked Basalt girls soccer coach Makenzie Eshelman said. “They play us as hard as they can.

“It’s a huge rivalry for both teams.”

And, befitting its status as a rivalry game, Thursday’s showdown between the Longhorns and the visiting Skiers ended in dramatic fashion.

Rallying for two second-half goals, Aspen fought to a 2-all draw against its neighboring rival.

Goals by Tori Kungli and Noel Chiarelli gave the Longhorns the early advantage, but the Skiers came out fighting in the second half.

“We knew we had to work harder,” Aspen coach John Gillies said. “We came out and ground down Basalt. We didn’t allow them to play their game. They’re a good passing team.”

In the second half, a penalty kick from Kate Moyer found its mark.

Tati Armstrong also found net as the Skiers forced overtime.

“I think that the momentum kind of changed in their favor in the second half,” Eshelman said. “They play very scrappy. They clear the ball a lot and we’re more of a passing team.”

Thursday’s game marked the second time in as many meetings that Aspen and Basalt have gone to overtime.

Back on March 9, the Longhorns beat the Skiers, 2-1, in extra time.

“We love overtime, apparently,” Eshelman said with a laugh.

“It’s a local rivalry and it’s always a great game,” Gillies said. “It’s always exciting. It’s nice to be getting closer to them.”

Basalt, which plays again at Vail Mountain on Saturday, moved to 5-0-2 with the draw.

Aspen, which doesn’t play again until an April 19 home date with Vail Christian, is now 5-1-1.

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