Grand Valley blanked by powerhouse Basalt
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
BASALT, Colorado ” Grand Valley girls soccer coach Kelly Clark smirked as she raised her scorebook and covered her face, playfully attempting to avoid a postgame interview.
Opposing players and coaches who have visited Basalt High School in recent years know the feeling well.
The 11-time defending 3A Western Slope League champion Longhorns came out firing on a brisk Thursday afternoon, scoring three times in the first 13 minutes. The offensive clinic continued as Basalt rolled to a 7-0 win over the Cardinals, improving to 8-1-1.
The high-powered Longhorns scored 14 goals in two previous games this week against Vail Mountain School and Roaring Fork ” both lopsided wins. They wasted little time lighting the scoreboard Thursday against a first-year Grand Valley varsity squad.
Ginevra Moore came away with the ball in a crowded box following a Longhorns free kick in the fourth minute and went low for the goal to break a scoreless tie. Two minutes later, Abby King converted on a corner kick, reaching out her left foot and tapping the ball home.
Five different Basalt players scored in the game.
“I think we came out playing better than we did at Roaring Fork, definitely with more intensity,” Longhorns head coach Makenzie Buck said. “We had great passing again and took some great shots.”
That was on display in 13th minute when Annette Stenstadvold and Melissa Stewart played give-and-go. Stenstadvold passed inside to Stewart, cut outside, then received a pass and tucked a shot into the far upper corner.
King finished off another corner kick in the 27th minute to give Basalt a 4-0 lead at the half.
“For the most part, we’ve really stepped it up,” King said. “It’s a little bit harder (playing with intensity against a first-year program) instead of a game against teams like Aspen, but we still want to win and play with heart.”
The Longhorns continued to apply pressure and pad their lead in the second half. Moore shook free on the near post, gathered herself and scored low in the 45th minute, extending the lead to five.
Had it not been for the play of Cardinals goalkeeper Stephanie Hilgenbrinck, the game likely would have ended early. The sophomore routinely took on wide-open Basalt forwards and turned away shots from point-blank range. Hilgenbrinck fell on her back during one exchange in the 56th minute, but still managed to thwart a shot mere feet from the goal line from the Longhorns’ Jackie Argueta.
“The goalie has just been amazing … considering how many times she goes head-to-head with the other team,” Clark said. “One time I looked at the stat book and she had 25 (saves).”
Stewart can attest to Hilgenbrinck’s stingy back-line play. The senior, who scored five times in Tuesday’s rout of Roaring Fork, had no less than six open looks in the first half ” and didn’t score once.
Stewart finally broke through in the 63rd minute. She controlled a loose ball near midfield and knifed through seemingly the entire Cardinals defense before going low to beat a diving Hilgenbrinck.
Less than two minutes later, teammate Katie Peckler fired a spinning cross into the box, and Katie King knocked it home to stretch the advantage to seven for Basalt, which travels to New Castle on Saturday to take on Coal Ridge.
“We’re starting to turn it on,” Buck said. “(Saturday will) be one tough game. It will be high intensity, and the girls are really excited.”
“If we play with all the heart we have and play our game, hopefully things will turn out well,” Abby King added.
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Six prep volleyball players from Garfield County schools earned first-team 3A Western Slope League honors.