Roaring Fork senior Jake Barlow obliterates the Basalt defense en route to his second goal of the night Tuesday, Oct. 17 at the Longhorns' field. The Rams went on to win 4-1. Photo by John Stroud

Roaring Fork High School boys soccer worked its way back into the mix for a possible 3A Western Slope League title with two league wins this past week over Aspen, 3-1, and Basalt, 4-1.

Tuesday night’s match at Basalt was a big one, with both the Rams and the Longhorns vying for all-important positioning in the state rankings heading into the postseason.

Roaring Fork emerged the victor with the exciting 4-1 win behind two goals from senior Jake Barlow and one each from fellow seniors Josh Hernandez and Jose Canas.

The Rams held a 2-0 advantage after Barlow scored the only first-half goal, then used some fancy footwork a third of the way through the second to get past the defense and push one past Longhorns goalie Eric Palomares.

Basalt’s only goal came about 10 minutes later when a roller got past Rams keeper Noel Richardson and the other defenders and barely made it into the net. 

Hernandez then scored on a misplay by Palomares, and Canas connected from the left side for the final tally.

The win moves the Rams to 8-3-2 overall and 6-1-1 in the league

behind Vail Mountain, at 9-4-1 and 5-1-1. Vail travels to play Delta (6-6-2, 2-3-2) on Thursday, and a loss or tie for the Gore Rangers would likely give the league title to Roaring Fork based on record, head coach Nick Forbes said after Tuesday’s win.

“What we don’t know is how the ties factor into that,” Forbes said. With no overtime this season due to a Colorado High School Activities Association rules change, league play resulted in 14 ties total through Tuesday.

After a pair of losses to 4A teams earlier this month, Forbes said his team made the necessary adjustments and has been working on finishing shot opportunities that translate to goals. 

“We’re still working on converting off pressure, possession and good passing, and turning that into more goals,” Forbes said after the Basalt win. “Even today, we probably should have had three or four more than we did, so we still have to work this week on making sure we finish, and not just shoot.”

Against Aspen on Oct. 12, the Rams got two goals in the first, and the teams traded goals in the second.

Roaring Fork, which holds the No. 6 spot in the state’s 3A power rankings, closes out the regular season with a pair of home games this week, against 1-13 Moffat County at 6pm Thursday, Oct. 19, and versus cross-town rival CRMS (0-10) for senior night at 6pm Friday.

Basalt (6-5-3, 2-3-2), ranked No. 16, finishes at Aspen at 11am Saturday.

Volleyball falls to Aspen

The Roaring Fork volleyball team dropped to 7-13 overall and 1-5 in 3A Western Slope League play with a 3-1 loss at Aspen on Tuesday (18-25, 25-17, 16-25, 15-25).

Senior Ruby Denning had 10 kills on the night, and sophomores Nikki Tardif and Yakelin Hernandez recorded eight and seven kills, respectively. Denning also had 20 digs to lead the team in that category, while junior Carley Crownhart had four aces from the serving line.

On Saturday, the Rams played at the Basalt volleyball tournament, winning one game and losing three. Games scores and stats are as follows:

Lost 2-1 to Conifer (25-17, 23-25, 9-15)

Kills: Tardif and sophomore Tahia Swanton, six each

Aces: Junior Erica Crownhart, four

Blocks: Tardif, two

Digs: E. Crownhart, 15

Won 2-1 over Centaurus (20-25, 25-22, 15-6)

Kills: Tardif and Swanton, six each

Aces: E. Crownhart, four

Blocks: Tardif, two

Digs: E. Crownhart, 15

Lost 2-0 to Battle Mountain (13-25, 15-25)

Kills: Denning, three

Aces: E. Crownhart, two 

Blocks: Swanton, one

Digs: E. Crownhart and C. Crownhart, five each

Lost 2-1 to Basalt (16-25, 25-18, 10-15)

Kills: Denning, 11; Tardif, seven

Aces: Denning and C. Crownhart, two each

Digs: E. Crownhart, 10; C. Crownhart, five