Roaring Fork soccer sweeps 3A WSL awards |

Roaring Fork soccer sweeps 3A WSL awards

Josh Carney
Post Independent
Roaring Fork senior Joe Salinas battles for the ball during a regular season game against the Coal Ridge Titans in Carbonale. Coal Ridge's Kade Frees (11) and Trace Apostolik (2) defend.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent

Following a run to the 3A semifinals in the Colorado High School Activities Association’s state playoffs, the Roaring Fork Rams soccer team cleaned up the 3A Western Slope League awards as senior defender Max Candela won the league’s Player of the Year award, while head coach Nick Forbes won Coach of the Year after the Rams finished 15-2-1 (6-1 3A WSL), winning the league championship.

Candela was a staple of the Rams’ lockdown back line, helping the Rams give up the fewest goals of the season in the league with just 11 goals against in 18 games, including eight in seven league games. Aside from his standout defense, Candela added four goals on the season, including a big penalty kick goal in the second round of the state playoffs at home against the Valley Vikings.

Joining Candela on the 3A WSL First Team from Roaring Fork are seniors Joe Salinas (six goals, one assist), Aidan Sloan (team-high 19 goals, nine assists), and Ronald Clemente (four goals, five assists).

Roaring Fork saw senior goalkeeper Leo Loya land on the honorable mention team after posting a 0.434 goals against average on the season with 74 saves, as well as senior Liam Laird, who recorded one goal and five assists on the season.

Aside from Roaring Fork, the Coal Ridge Titans saw senior Gustavo Archila land on the 3A WSL First Team after posting nine goals and nine assists for Coal Ridge, which finished 8-7-1 (4-3 3A WSL) on the season.

Sophomore Jack Price (one goal) and senior Kade Frees (five goals, six assists) earned honorable mention honors for the Titans under veteran head coach Michael Mikalakis.

The Basalt Longhorns had two players earn First Team honors as junior Junior Portillo (three goals, six assists) and junior Richie Argueta (one goal) cracked the first-team roster. Junior goalkeeper Mateo Salazar (2.326 goals against average, 60 saves) and senior Bear Matthews ( 14 goals, five assists) earned honorable mention accolades for the Longhorns.

Grand Valley senior goalkeeper Marco Rojas earned honorable mention accolades for the Cardinals after posting a 4.692 goals against average while making a league-high 252 saves on the season.

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