Moffat County soccer can’t find net in 1-0 loss to Aspen |

Moffat County soccer can’t find net in 1-0 loss to Aspen

Nate Waggenspack
Moffat County senior Nestor Arrellano goes up to head the ball among a group of Aspen players off a corner kick. The Bulldogs pressured Aspen for the majority of the game but couldn't find a goal and lost, 1-0.
Nate Waggenspack

— In yet another tight defensive game, one goal was enough to decide a Moffat County soccer game.

On Saturday, the Bulldogs came away on the wrong side of the scoreboard, losing to Aspen, 1-0, at Woodbury Sports Complex. It followed a 1-0 win for the Bulldogs on Tuesday in Craig against Grand Valley.

In what has been a common theme for Moffat County this season, the team often was the aggressor and applied more pressure than its opponents but couldn’t find the back of the net.

The key juncture in the game came when Bulldogs senior Pedro Balbuena ran down a pass over the top and flicked it past Aspen’s advancing goalkeeper. With no one behind the ball, it appeared to be trickling into the goal but ended up going just inches wide to the right for a goal kick.

“I thought that was in,” Balbuena said after the game.

Instead of a stoppage of play after a goal, the Skiers quickly put the ball down for the free kick and turned it into somewhat of a counter attack. A miscommunication by the Moffat County back line allowed Joel Brice to receive the ball in the middle of the field with no one near him. Brice calmly flicked the ball past Alex Arrellano for the lead with nine minutes to play in the first half, less than a minute after Balbuena’s shot went wide.

“One goof got us today,” said head coach Rusty Cox. “That was a good battle the whole game, but one mistake got us. (The defenders) thought one was going to defend (Brice), and the other thought the other would.”

On Saturday, that one mistake would loom large. For the latter portion of the second half, Moffat kept the Aspen defense sweating. A series of well-placed corner kicks from Hugh Turner found the box and a teammate’s head, but none of them could quite get directed into the goal.

“We had the game but needed to score more goals,” Balbuena said. “We didn’t even get the one.”

The Skiers also threatened on a couple of other occasions, but Arrellano turned them away with good goalkeeping.

“They didn’t have a whole lot of other really dangerous shots. I’m very proud of the way these boys played today,” Cox said. “Sometimes, a couple unlucky bounces get you. Sometimes, the ball bounces in your direction and you get a goal. That one from Pedro would have made a big difference early.”

Nate Waggenspack can be reached at 970-875-1795 or

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