BASALT, Colorado - Scoring chances abounded in the first 10 minutes for the Basalt girls soccer team Saturday.
Despite seven excellent opportunities, the host Longhorns could not convert a goal against Vail Christian.
Basalt's Katie King finally capitalized in the 14th minute. The senior beat her defender and converted a low liner for her first of three goals. The Longhorns (5-3-1) cruised from there, routing the Saints (1-5), 9-1.
"I told them they couldn't hit the broadside of a barn," Basalt head coach Makenzie Eshelman said of her team's early struggles. "(Vail's) goalkeeper was in good position on a lot of our shots, and we were taking shots that probably weren't the best shots to take. But you have to take some to get some."
The Longhorns dominated possession in the opening half, as the ball rarely passed midfield. Vail Christian failed to generate one shot, as Basalt stifled a shorthanded Saints team that had just nine players instead of the usual 11 on the pitch.
"Our goal today was to pass and move, just to play our game," Eshelman said. "We knew they were down players today, so we wanted to possess and not get frantic when they would clear the ball."
A full-strength Basalt team easily corralled clearing attempts and quickly stepped up the offensive pressure. King connected on two more goals before the break, completing a hat trick and staking the Longhorns to a 3-0 lead.
Basalt picked up where it left off in the final 40 minutes. Playing a mix of bench players and starters, the Longhorns connected three times in a 19-minute stretch to open the half.
With 15 minutes left to play, Eshelman evened the numbers on the field and let her freshmen take control.
"It's really good to get other girls in and get the rest of the team scoring goals," Eshelman said.
The Saints finally put a shot on goal in the 69th minute, when Makenzie O'Brien beat the Longhorns defense and scored. Afterward, three young Basalt players took advantage of a clearly winded Vail Christian team for three more goals.
Seven different players scored for the Longhorns, who visit Coal Ridge at 4 p.m. Tuesday.