Oysters rally to bury Skiers
Post Independent Sports Editor
CARBONDALE — Aspen High School’s boys soccer team took advantage of the opportunities it was given early against Colorado Rocky Mountain School. The Oysters responded by making opportunities for themselves in the second half on Saturday.
Ben Holland scored the go-ahead goal with just less than 3 minutes gone in overtime, lifting CRMS to a 3-2 Class 3A Region 3 victory over the Skiers and capping a comeback from a 2-0 halftime deficit.
“We were the aggressors in the second half, and we continued that into overtime,” CRMS coach Dan Pittz said.
The Skiers (1-5-0 overall, 1-1-0 Region 3) were definitely the aggressors in the first half, controlling the midfield on their way to building a two-goal halftime cushion. That sparked a halftime pep talk from Pittz, whose Oysters (3-0-0 overall and league) turned the tables after what the CRMS coach called a lackluster first half by his team.
“We started playing more tactical and pressing as an entire team,” Pittz said. “It was a huge emotional switch for us. We started winning 50-50 balls and creating chances for ourselves instead of waiting for chances to come to us. That was the big difference.”
At the start of overtime with the score knotted at 2, Holland recovered a ball on an attempted through-ball kick from Aspen, drove up and took a shot on goal. The shot, however, deflected off a back-line Aspen player and into the net, giving Skiers goalkeeper Dante Lizotte no chance to recover.
The Skiers went up 1-0 in the 26th minute when Joel Brice took a long feed, juked CRMS goalie Tyler Staples and chipped the ball into the goal. Then after CRMS’s Jari Lindholm barely missed a 25-yard goal that landed on top of the net in the 28th minute, Aspen built a 2-0 lead when Griffin Stevens rammed an errant centering pass from the right side of the goal to the far post.
That’s when the Oysters began their comeback, cutting the Aspen lead to one goal in the 53rd minute when Lindholm found the net off a feed from Patrick Flory. Then just five minutes later, CRMS tied the match on an Aaron Zepp goal and a Holland assist. Holland capped the rally 20 minutes later.
Aspen returns to the pitch with a nonleague home match against Delta on Tuesday. CRMS continues league play at home Tuesday against Moffat County.
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