Errors aid Aspen’s 3-1 victory against Moffat County soccer
Craig — The last time Moffat County High School boys varsity soccer met with Aspen, four total goals were scored. That number was the same Thursday afternoon, but even with some details going their way, others hurt badly, and the Bulldogs couldn’t come up with a win.
MCHS lost, 3-1, to the visiting Skiers in a match that saw them shuffle their placement of players.
Regular goaltender Alex Arellano had to step out of the box because of significant injury to two of his fingers earlier in the day in gym class. Luis Lopez took on goalie duties, as Arellano was moved to defender. Combined with Christian Viramontes being benched with a taped-up knee, so many changes seemed risky.
Spectators wouldn’t know it to watch in the first half, with the Bulldogs slowing down the Aspen offense and giving back as good as they got, ultimately leading to a scoreless game by halftime.
“We really got under their skin,” coach Harry Tripp said.
The second half started on the wrong foot as two minutes in, a lofty kick soared over Lopez’s head, marking the first goal of the game. Minutes later, MCHS answered back as Micajah Prescott booted in a penalty kick on behalf of Marco Ayala.
The Skiers found net again unexpectedly as Lopez fumbled a save on a close shot.
Shortly thereafter, the ball ricocheted off the foot of Bulldog Garrett Ferguson to give Aspen another surprise score.
Tripp said the shot total for MCHS, which stood at 12, was reasonable for the amount of defensive pressure on both ends. Lopez finished with 14 saves.
“He did a good job, but it would have been nice to have Alex for a game like this,” Tripp said.
Aspen coach Dave Francis credited Moffat County for keeping things close for as long as it did.
“That was a good win for us against a good team,” he said. “They’re big and strong, and they play some decent soccer.”
Aspen, 6-2 overall and 2-0 in 3A Western Slope League, will take on rival Basalt this weekend. MCHS is 1-5-1 overall and 1-2 WSL after the Aspen game and Tuesday’s 1-0 loss against Roaring Fork.
The Bulldogs will host their official Homecoming game Saturday morning against Colorado Rocky Mountain High School, who most recently was beaten, 4-2, by Aspen on Tuesday.
“If we can fix the little mistakes we made today, I expect us to be able to come out on all cylinders,” Tripp said.
Until his digits heal, Arellano will remain on the field but not in goal. Likewise, Ayala, who hit the ground multiple times thanks to aggressive defense by Aspen, had to get his hand looked at after being on the receiving end of a cleat.
Still, that won’t keep him out of the game Saturday, and he intends to give a strong effort for Homecoming.
“I think we can get ’em,” Ayala said about his upcoming opponents.