Rams ensure no repeat of last season
CARBONDALE — Roaring Fork High School’s boys soccer team is still sore about last season’s first-round postseason exit. Aaron Palomera made sure it wouldn’t happen again.
The Roaring Fork High junior netted a hat trick and put the Rams ahead to stay with his goal 13 minutes into the match, helping third-seeded Roaring Fork top No. 30 Roosevelt of Johnstown, 6-0, in the first round of the Class 3A state playoffs.
“Last year it was really emotional when we lost,” Palomera said of Roaring Fork’s 1-0 first-round loss to Fountain-Fort Carson last season. “We didn’t want that this year, so we had to keep up the intensity after our first goal and pretend like it was still 0-0.”
That mindset apparently worked for the 3A Western Slope League champion Rams (14-2-0 overall), who earned their ninth shutout of the season and sixth victory by five goals or more. And with the win, the Rams advanced to play Peak to Peak of Layfaette (8-8-0), which earned a 4-2 victory in a shootout against Pagosa Springs after the Pumas played the Panthers to a 2-2 draw through regulation and overtime.
Start time for the second-round game is 1 p.m. today. The winner advances to the Class 3A quarterfinals, which take place on Oct. 31.
Palomera scored in the 13th, 41st and 57th minutes, with his second goal coming within the first 30 seconds of the second half. Palomera also had an assist in the 38th minute to Erik Carrillo, who also capped the game’s scoring in the 69th minute with his second goal that came after senior Ben Carpenter found the back of the net in the 51st minute.
Roosevelt (8-8-0), the third-place finisher in its league behind Frontier Academy and Sterling, was never able to get much going offensively.
The Roughriders’ best opportunity came in the 48th minute, when an indirect kick from Astwin Tavizon from 20 yards away from the goal sailed just high of the top goal post.
By then, the Rams had already taken a 3-0 lead and added to it when Carpenter broke free from a crowd down the right sideline and found the net past Roosevelt goalkeeper Michael Kellogg to give Roaring Fork a four-goal cushion. Palomera added his final goal in the 57th, and Axel Palomera’s lob pass to Carrillo for Roaring Fork’s final score capped the scoring.
“To have that game last year as a motivational factor was huge for us,” Roaring Fork coach Nick Forbes said. “They’re so driven right now it’s insane.”
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