Speedy Basalt handles visiting Roaring Fork in soccer | PostIndependent.com
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Speedy Basalt handles visiting Roaring Fork in soccer

Jon Maletz
The Aspen Times
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Jim Ryan Special to the Post Independent
ALL |

BASALT, Colorado – When asked to describe his team’s play Thursday, Basalt head soccer coach John McDermott repeated the same word multiple times.

“They’re fast,” he said, flashing a smile. “Really fast.”

That speed helped the Longhorns turn their season-opening bout with rival Roaring Fork into a lopsided affair.



Basalt jumped ahead in the 13th minute, scored three more times in the opening half and cruised to a 5-1 victory.

“It’s a beautiful game they play,” McDermott said afterward. “Some of these kids are here for three [more] years.”



The young Longhorns struggled to link passes or move the ball during the early going Thursday.

Their fortunes changed in an instant, however, when Dylan Ahasic corralled a loose ball and sprinted up the right sideline in the 13th minute. He then launched a cross into a crowd that found the feet of Willy Salamanca; the sophomore turned and alertly passed to wide-open teammate Santiago Marciani, who ripped a high liner past Rams goalkeeper Neiby Vargas.

About 13 minutes later, Brandon Henriquez streaked up the middle of the pitch, drew a defender and passed off to a trailing Sebastian Liuzzi, who converted on a powerful blast to stretch the lead to two.

“Four goals in [27 minutes] is not bad,” Liuzzi joked. “I’m so proud of the whole team and all their efforts. … That’s why there’s 11 guys on the field.”

Henriquez joined in on the scoring barrage two minutes later, somehow tucking a low shot from left of the net into the far corner.

Teammate Carlos Palomares controlled a ball in the box during a corner kick and scored about 20 seconds before halftime to give the Longhorns a sizable cushion.

“We’ve been here before with Basalt,” Roaring Fork head coach John Ackerman said. “This gives us a real clear picture of where we need [to improve].

“The last half was actually better than the first. That’s always a good sign. Nobody fell apart.”

The Rams appeared to increase their aggressiveness during a physical second half in which the teams traded elbows and verbal jabs on multiple occasions. Roaring Fork managed to find the net in the 63rd minute when Saulito Vega converted a penalty kick.

Unfortunately for the visitors, the goal came 12 minutes after Henriquez scored for a second time.

“This is a little taste of what we can achieve,” Liuzzi said. “As we play, we get better. It’s only a matter of time.”

Basalt is off until Thursday, when it will host Coal Ridge at 4 p.m. in a showdown of two of 3A Region 3’s top squads.

jmaletz@aspentimes.com


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