Titans set the bar high for ’Horns
PEACH VALLEY — Basalt High School’s girls soccer team has made some steady improvements since last season. The Coal Ridge Titans showed the Longhorns what it takes to stay at the top of the league standings.
Allondra Murillo scored a pair of goals for the eighth-ranked Titans, who took nearly seven times as many shots as the Longhorns on their way to a 5-0 Class 3A/2A Western Slope League win against Basalt at The Pasture.
“Coal Ridge is a good team. There’s 11 good girls out there that are hard to keep up with,” first-year Basalt coach Andy Huntsman said. “We’ve made some progress from last year, and I think that all of the girls individually have made a lot of progress. But we have a ways to go if we want to get where they are.”
The Titans (9-3-0 overall, 7-0-0 3A/2A WSL), even after losing some of the top goal scorers in Class 3A to graduation over the past two seasons, are contending for a third consecutive league championship even without a big go-to scorer on their team. That was evident on Tuesday against the Longhorns, as four different players — Murillo, Mariela Martinez, Sam Dunn and Santana Martinez — each found the net. Overall, the Titans held a 20-3 shots-on-goal advantage against the Longhorns (4-6-1 overall, 2-3-1 league).
“People have picked up the slack and we’ve had some others who have stepped up for us,” Coal Ridge coach Micah Herron said. “In the last few years, a lot of these girls had some players they could look up to who have graduated now. This year, these girls are it, and they’re stepping up and performing as we’d like them to.”
The victory also nearly assures Coal Ridge of no less than a return trip to the Class 3A state playoffs, and a Titans victory over Aspen — a 2-1 winner over Colorado Rocky Mountain School in Carbondale on Tuesday — would lock up a return trip to the postseason for Coal Ridge. Meanwhile, Basalt needs to win its remaining four games — which include a home game against Rifle on Thursday and a game against archrival Aspen on April 28 — and get some help to reach the postseason.
Coal Ridge didn’t make that road to the postseason any easier for the Longhorns to travel.
The Titans went up to stay in the 21st minute on Dunn’s goal and took a 2-0 lead on the first of Murillo’s two goals in the 38th minute.
Then, in the 55th minute, Santana Martinez put the ball past Basalt goalkeeper Katie Schrock for the third goal of the game. Mariela Martinez, a Coal Ridge senior, made it 4-0 when she knocked the ball into the net off a crossing pass from Joanna Hazelbush.
“That was such a beautiful pass,” Martinez said. “Getting that goal was definitely rewarding.”
Murillo capped the scoring with her goal in the 71st minute for her sixth goal of the season. Schrock finished the game with 17 saves for Basalt.
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Maya Lindgren had always considered herself “more of a softball girl,” until she started getting some serious looks on the basketball court during her junior season at Roaring Fork High School last year.