Basalt beats Vail Mountain
EAST VAIL – It was an archaeological feat equal to that of unearthing the city of Pompeii that enabled Vail Mountain to host Basalt in girls’ soccer Tuesday at the field formerly know as The Bob. It has been renamed The Igloo.With a wall of snow 10-12 feet high surrounding the surface of the field, the Longhorns beat the Gore Rangers, 3-0.”It was good to get a win on the road,” said Basalt coach Chris Woods. “We did well for our first game of the year.”During the first half, Basalt barraged the Gore Rangers’ Cely Brinkmann with 16 shots, two of which eluded her.About 15 minutes into the half, Basalt’s Alyssa Leslie collected a throw-in and dribbled in alone on Brinkmann. Leslie then slipped the ball into the right corner to give her team a 1-0 lead.Brinkmann kept the Gore Rangers in the game by making several diving saves.”We are playing in front of a mature, tough keeper who is a great leader,” said Vail Mountain coach Bob Bandoni. “What’s great about her leadership is that it allows the younger players to play without inhibitions.”Later in the first half, Basalt would double its lead when Katie Staerkel chased a loose ball deep into the left side of the Vail Mountain box and threw a shot on net that passed by Gore Rangers’ defenders and Brinkmann.
Ball controlIn the second half, the Gore Rangers calmed down on defense and quelled the Basalt attack.”What I was really pleased with was the difference between the first and second half,” Bandoni said. “It looked like we had a week’s worth of training.” The Longhorns put seven shots on net in the second half, but many sailed into the hands of Brinkmann.”(Our defense) was pushing them more outside,” Brinkmann said. “That’s what we wanted to do so their crosses were cut off a little more.”Vail Mountain defender Kelsey Peck stifled Basalt attacks on several occasions.”In the middle of the field, Kelsey improved her game remarkably in the second half,” Bandoni said.
Molly Etters was solid all game at midfield for the Gore Rangers, moving the ball up the field through Basalt defenders. Etters would leave the game with a leg injury.In the waning minutes of the second half, Basalt’s Katheryne Fitzpatrick added a goal to seal the victory.The Longhorns’ Leslie walked into the Gore Rangers’ goal box, and when she finally met some opposition, she rifled a shot that was blocked by a Vail Mountain defender. Leslie quickly collected the ball again and sent a hard, quick strike towards the upper part of the net. Brinkmann’s fully extended arms popped the ball in the air, but the ball continued towards the net behind her and Fitzpatrick easily headed the ball home.Playing timeVail Mountain was playing without four starters, which meant those who did play saw tons of time.”I felt strongly about the gutsy performance of the players who stayed on the field. We didn’t have many substitutes,” Bandoni said.Bandoni also enjoyed the scenery of the field.
“It’s an exciting place to be, with the contrast of the green and the white. It feels a bit magical to have these 10-foot walls around us,” he said.With the snow banks piled up on the sidelines, the regular field lines were buried and the field was narrowed two yards on each side.sFor Basalt, who has played indoors for most of its practices thus far, the field was still spacious.”There was a lot of space, and we’ve gotta get used to it,” Woods said.Vail Mountain looks to rebound against Roaring Fork Thursday at 4 p.m. at The Bob, er The Igloo. Sports Writer Ian Cropp can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 14631, or email@example.com.Vail, Colorado