Vail Christian soccer falls at Aspen, 6-0
ASPEN ” The heavy snow fell for nearly the whole game. The sun came out as soon as it was over.
Fitting, for sure, in a spring sports season that’s been anything but ordinary.
In ideal indoor soccer weather, Aspen’s girls braved the elements Thursday afternoon on their home turf to pick up their fourth win in five games with a 6-0 blanking of first-year varsity program Vail Christian.
Aspen seniors Julia Hassall and Grace Seigle each scored in the first five minutes and Abbi Cook scored two second-half goals and added an assist in the win.
The Skiers (4-1) unloaded 25 shots on Vail Christian freshman keeper Dakota Francis, while allowing only one shot on goal off a run from Saints junior Elizabeth Shearon.
While there was little in doubt in this one, Francis held her own in the midst of an onslaught, holding Aspen scoreless for the remaining 35 minutes of the first half after the two early goals.
Vail Christian came out with purpose in the opening 10 minutes of the second half, keeping Aspen off its half of the pitch and even managing a scoring chance when Francis broke away with the ball. Aspen goalie Lindsey Anderson snuffed out the run with a slide tackle.
The game reverted back to its first-half form, however, a few minutes later after Aspen’s Lizzy Eastley crossed up Francis with a left-to-right blast that ducked inside the far right post.
Cook knocked in her two goals shortly after, both off loose balls in the box, before Hassall added a late goal for the final tally.
“It was not that nice standing on the sideline, but it was great being out there,” said Aspen coach John Gillies, whose team went 16 days between its last game, a one-goal loss to 5A Grand Junction Central. “I was just surprised how quickly we popped back from spring break. Usually, it takes a lot longer than this.”
Just like Aspen, Vail Christian (2-2) has struggled to hold outdoor practices the past few weeks, and it showed Thursday.
“It was our fourth time on a field today in a month and a half,” said Saints coach Barbara Wilson. “We’ve been playing four versus four in a gym, so trying to develop plays with 11 players will be nice the more that we’re outside.”
For a first-year varsity program, Wilson was encouraged by some of the things her players did Thursday, especially the competitive start to the second half and Francis’ never-say-die approach in net.
“We talked more about winning the ball and making our passes go where we wanted them to go,” she said. “We did that better. I think we’re also marking better.”
Aspen next plays at 11 a.m. Saturday at Roaring Fork, while Vail Christian is at the Vail Mountain School.
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