Skiers girls sweep Vail Mountain
ASPEN, Colorado ” Another physical, spirited match against Vail Mountain and another win for Aspen.
On tired legs, the Skiers girls mustered two goals Tuesday afternoon while blanking the visiting Gore Rangers to remain undefeated in the 3A Western Slope heading into Thursday’s showdown with Basalt.
After settling for a tie Monday in a whiteout at Coal Ridge, Aspen’s defense was again tested Tuesday, but proved up to the challenge.
“It’s great,” said Aspen coach John Gillies. “It’s good for us to put pressure on our defense. That’s what we needed.”
The Skiers’ Maggie Melberg set up the eventual game-winner in the ninth minute when she lined a textbook left-to-right corner kick right in front of the near post that VMS goalie Elsie Macsata got a glove on before Aspen’s Haley Rinaldi knocked it in.
The Skiers (6-1-1 overall, 4-0-1 in 3A Western Slope) didn’t get their insurance until the 65th minute when Brittany Marrs lofted a shot over the head of Macsata after a nifty run down the left side.
In the 55 minutes between goals, Vail Mountain had its chances to tie the game, but all seven of its shots on goal were either off line or snuffed out by Aspen keeper Lindsey Anderson.
“We had opportunities, we just couldn’t finish,” Gore Rangers coach Bob Bandoni said. “They had opportunities, they couldn’t finish. I’d like to bring some language to this to make it into something it wasn’t, but I can’t do that. It was a mess for us. I think we had a vision of what we thought we needed to do and we had a hard time doing it.”
Typically reserved on the sideline, Bandoni’s frustration boiled over in the waning minutes of the match after a charging Anderson collided hard with VMS forward Molly Etters and her Skiers teammate Sally Boelens.
“That’s a red card on any other continent,” Bandoni shouted at the nearest official before turning around and walking back toward his team’s bench.
The collision led to an unoccupied Aspen net, and a shot from a VMS player that just sailed over the Aspen cross bar. In the first half, VMS’ Taylor Biegler also missed by just a few feet when she pushed a free kick from about 35 yards out over the crossbar.
VMS (4-3, 2-2) wasn’t alone in its missed chances. With bodies flying, Aspen’s Julia Hassall put a foot on a loose ball in front of the VMS goal in the 45th minute that looked like a sure score before being deflected at the last second, then cleared.
Ten minutes later, the Gore Rangers’ Lucy Sackbauer made a run on Aspen’s goal, had her shot deflected, then connected on the rebound ” right into the hands of Anderson.
Anderson finished with seven saves, while Macsata had 11 on 13 shots from Aspen.
The Skiers dominated the corner kick ratio with a lopsided 11 to the Gore Rangers’ 1. Still, the game was much more even than last month’s meeting in East Vail when VMS managed a late goal in a 3-1 Aspen win.
“It was a physical game,” Skiers senior midfielder Grace Seigle said. “In the first game, we just had some really tough shots that really caught their goalie off guard. But today, it was very physical, very hard. Our defense really stepped up today and did a good job. They didn’t let them get through.”
VMS next plays at Coal Ridge at 4 p.m. Thursday.
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