Aspen survives battle with Oysters
Post Independent Staff
Aspen’s Kyle Lusk scored in the 42nd minute and the Skiers dominated possession as they cruised to a 1-0 shutout win over Colorado Rocky Mountain School in their boys soccer match.
The speed and ball control of Aspen’s midfielders and forwards proved too much for the Oysters to handle in Wednesday’s afternoon contest. With the ball in their opponent’s end of the field for more than half the game, the Skiers managed to overwhelm CRMS with a 16-1 margin in shots on goal.
After a scoreless first half, Aspen came out strong in the second determined to crack the tie. A couple of quick passes and the ball was already deep in Oysters territory giving the Skiers an excellent chance to strike.
Senior forward Jesus Meza found himself open along the far endline with four teammates surrounding Oysters keeper Ross Mohsenin. Recognizing the great opportunity, Meza sent a pass into the box through the CRMS defense which teammate Kyle Lusk pounded home past Mohsenin for the score.
“We controlled the possession,” explained Aspen head coach Grant Sutherland. “It would have been nice to get a few extra goals with all of our chances but they definitely deserved to win.”
Aspen poured on the pressure in the second half, desperate to add to their lead yet all they would have to show for it were a couple of missed free kick opportunities and a goal wiped away by a controversial offsides call.
It happened about midway through the half when the Skiers’ senior Murphy Fyrwald tapped in a deflection just around the right post for what looked like the Skiers’ second goal of the game. However, the side referee blew his whistle for an offsides call.
“After I scored I looked around at the ref who blew the whistle and asked ‘how was that offsides?’ as I was running back and he apologized, saying [blowing his whistle] was an accident and the goal should’ve counted,” Fyrwald lamented. “So I asked, ‘Then why can’t it count?'”
Instead the referee said he couldn’t change the call that had already been made and Fyrwald was left pondering the goal that got away.
The Skiers failed to capitalize on two other breakaway scoring opportunities as well thanks to the play of the Oysters’ keeper.
Lusk took a feed from his defenseman on the far side and broke past the midline, outrunning the CRMS defense all the way to the goal box where he met a charging Mohsenin. He fired a shot right into the goalie’s stomach and Mohsenin held on to clear it.
About five minutes later, another great chance was spoiled when Mohsenin made not one, but two great saves to keep the Skiers from doing any further damage on the scoreboard.
“Their keeper played really well,” Sutherland admitted of Mohsenin’s effort. “He has really good hands and his play kept them in the game and gave them a chance to win.”
Oysters head coach Dan Pittz wasn’t happy about the loss afterwards. His team was missing a few players Wednesday after coming away with a win the day before against Coal Ridge and thought they played without enough spark to beat a team like Aspen.
“We didn’t quite have enough enthusiasm today,” Pittz said. “We get a week off here and hopefully we can get some rest and bring back that enthusiasm level.”
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Amid hundreds of cleat-footed little leaguers casually gathered along the first baseline, the glare of parents’ sunglasses deflecting the early morning sun, coach Troy Phillips began a trip down memory lane.