Skiers slip by Rams in overtime, 3-2 |

Skiers slip by Rams in overtime, 3-2

Jeff Caspersen
Glenwood Springs, Colorado CO

CARBONDALE, Colorado ” Jesus Meza spun off a defender and then put enough juice on a 15-yard roller to direct the ball just inside the right post, and past the reaching hands of goalkeeper Luis Medina.

And, just like that, Aspen gained the new life it needed to sneak away from Carbondale with a 3-2 boys soccer win over host Roaring Fork.

Meza’s shot, which came with just over five minutes left in regulation, squared up a game the Skiers had trailed since the Rams’ Arick Zeigel nailed a penalty kick just before halftime.

“It’s a great feeling,” said the senior forward, whose shot tied the game at 2 and forced overtime. “I was thinking about passing. I thought I’d take the shot and see what happens. Thank God I did.”

Within three minutes of the sudden-death extra frame, Bo Welden put Aspen over the top, pouncing on a dump-off by teammate Murphy Frywald and drilling a line shot left of a diving Medina.

“It was a great shot, right down the middle,” Skiers coach Grant Sutherland lauded. “It was a hell of a strike, a great way to win any game.”

As Aspen celebrated, Roaring Fork lamented a squandered opportunity.

“It’s a little bit of a heartbreaker,” Rams coach John Ackerman said. “It’s tough when it goes against you in overtime. It’s deflating, but these guys never let up.”

In fact, Ackerman’s Rams were in control a good chunk of the way, the defense turning away Skier runs with regularity and the offense producing numerous scoring chances.

After Aspen’s Christian De La Cruz opened the scoring by taking a soaring pass from midfield in for a breakaway goal, Roaring Fork’s Wylie Adams opportunistically found a seam in the Skier defense with a 25-yard strike.

Both goals happened within a four-minute span midway through first half.

The score stood at 1-all until Zeigel teed off on his penalty kick in the 37th minute.

Perhaps the highlight of the afternoon came in the form of a play that didn’t even count.

Not long after the Skiers and Rams traded their first goals, De La Cruz acrobatically converted a mid-range bicycle kick on a long pass from near midfield, drawing oohs and ahs from the tiny Carbondale crowd. The goal didn’t hold up, though, as the whistle sounded for an offside call just as the ball struck the back of the net.

Roaring Fork dropped to 0-1-1 with the defeat, while Aspen improved to 1-0-0 with the season-opening win.

“It was a great game,” Sutherland said. “Roaring Fork battled well. … I’m sure both teams will get better as the season goes on. Next time, I’m sure it’ll be a different game.”

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