GLENWOOD SPRINGS — Jenna Brown and Sierra Martin each decided to take a chance on Saturday. Thanks to that, along with a clutch defensive stand by the Glenwood Springs High School girls soccer team, the Demons took down the unbeaten record of the Battle Mountain Huskies.
Long-range goals from Brown and Martin in the first half gave Glenwood an early two-goal advantage, and the Huskies’ big offensive push in the second half was turned away by the Demons’ back line during their 3-0 Class 4A Western Slope League victory at Stubler Memorial Field.
Home Field Advantage
“Our girls just left it all on the field. They played their hearts out,” Glenwood Springs coach Steve White said. “That’s the result you get when you’re playing to win, you’re playing with emotion and you’re playing on your home field.”
All of those seemed to make a difference for the Demons (6-1-0 overall and and Slope play), who at one point held Battle Mountain without a shot for close to 45 minutes. The Huskies, however, still outshot the Demons 10-7 for the match — including an 8-2 margin in the second half and a 15 minute stretch when they took six shots on Glenwood goalkeeper Bella Diaz.
The Demons held on, though, and tacked on their third and final goal in the 79th minute on a penalty kick by Brown, a senior who this ast month signed a letter of intent to play soccer at Fort Lewis in Durango.
“I kept yelling ‘composure, composure,’ as the game went on, because they were playing really frantic,” Brown said of the Huskies in the second half. “We needed to be the ones who stayed calm.”
Granted, the Huskies (9-1-0 overall, 8-1-0 league) were not only playing frantic, but fatigued. Battle Mountain had beaten Mullen, a regular in the 4A state tournament, 2-0 on Friday night, and the more-rested Demons took advantage by going ahead early to force the Huskies to try to rally.
“We put a lot of emotional energy into last night’s game,” Battle Mountain coach David Cope said. “That had been a focus of ours for a while and we’d been pushing toward that game. Whenever that happens, you’re worried about the next day. But give credit to Glenwood, because I’m sure they’d been pointing toward this game or a while now.”
The Demons are the only WSL team to shut out the Huskies in the past two seasons. The last time it happened was on April 6, 2013, when the Demons earned a 2-0 victory over the Huskies in Edwards.
Battle Mountain looked like the team that would light up the scoreboard first, though, after the Huskies got off two shots in Diaz in the first three minutes of the game. Glenwood, however, held the Huskies without a shot for the rest of the half and went ahead for good when Brown’s goal from 30 yards out went over the head of goalie Mandy Vickers and into the net in the 14th minute.
Glenwood upped the lead to 2-0 just 18 minutes later by scoring from a similar distance with a similar shot. Martin’s shot from close to 30 yards away again sailed over Vickers’ head, putting the Demons up 2-0 in the 32nd minute.
“In games like this, sometimes it’s a good thing to just take a chance,” White said. “It definitely paid off for us.”
The Huskies started taking chances in the second half, subbing a defender for an extra attacker in an attempt to cut their two-goal deficit in half. That helped Battle Mountain control the midfield for close to 25 minutes starting in the 49th minute.
Glenwood’s defense didn’t buckle, though. That defense cleared the ball in the 78th minute to Martin, who was knocked down by Vickers as she made a rush on the goal. Vickers was called for a foul and had to be removed, and Brown scored her penalty-shot goal on sophomore Nicole Lasater, who was making her first varsity appearance.
Glenwood is off until Thursday when the Demons host winless Rifle. The Huskies are also off until Thursday when they host Palisade, which is unbeaten and hasn’t allowed a goal this season.