Basalt ‘Sparkles’ vs. Rams |

Basalt ‘Sparkles’ vs. Rams

Post Independent Photo/Kelley Cox Basalt High School's Jessi Graf collides with Roaring Fork High School goalie Whitney Campbell during Tuesday afternoon's game in Carbondale. Basalt won, 8-1.

CARBONDALE – The Basalt Longhorns dominated Tuesday’s game territorially against rival Roaring Fork, but it wasn’t until Katie Staerkel caught fire that the scoreboard reflected that domination. “Sparkles,” as teammates call her, tallied three goals in just over six minutes to lead the Longhorns to an 8-1 Class 3A girls soccer victory over Roaring Fork.”I think it finally started to set in that we were better than this,” Staerkel said of the team’s play in the first half.”Plus, it was Roaring Fork, so we had to kill them,” she joked of the friendly rivalry between the schools separated by less than 20 miles.

Basalt broke open the 3-1 game midway through the second half when Katherine Fitzpatrick buried a left-footer for a 4-1 lead.Then Staerkel took over. A minute after Fitzpatrick’s goal, Staerkel netted a long shot. Five minutes later, she then put in back-to-back rebound goals in just over a minute to turn the game into a rout.Allison Pendergast wrapped up the scoring with a goal late in the contest.The game was the league opener for both squads, and the early-season rust showed early.

The Longhorns took an 2-0 lead on goals by Kari Heuer and Alia Munger, but missed on a number of opportunities.”It’s just that last kick, last shot, last tackle that needs to be worked out,” Basalt coach Chris Woods said.Basalt rarely allowed Roaring Fork into the Longhorns’ end of the field, but the Rams made the most of one of their few offensive chances when Megan Zeigel’s free kick found Carly Velasquez. Velasquez snuck the ball around charging Basalt goalie Darbi Scherer and put just enough muscle on the shot to get it over the goal line.”Roaring Fork always tries to outhustle us every time,” Woods said. “I hate playing these guys first because they always really hustle.”

Basalt started three freshmen and got good contributions from all of them, as well as some underclassmen off the bench. Munger had the early goal, Jessi Graf notched a pair of assists, and Amy Brumet did a solid job defensively while filling in for senior Deanna Spracher, who was out with a “fainting injury,” according to Woods.Roaring Fork also had plenty of underclassmen in the field as head coach Brad Zeigel fiddled with his lineup. “We’re fortunate to have a really strong freshman class and we’re trying to get them in,” Zeigel said. “The season is so compact, we’re kind of experimenting in the early games.” Roaring Fork goalies Whitney Campbell, Krispin Jewkes and Lindsay Dudycha combined for 18 saves. Scherer had five saves, and Dayne Toney tallied three for Basalt.Basalt improved to 1-0 in the WSL (1-1 overall), while Roaring Fork dropped to 0-1 (0-2). The Rams play host to Aspen Thursday, while Basalt travels to Vail Christian.

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