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April 29, 2014
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Huskies soccer to face Steamboat, yes, Steamboat

EDWARDS — Surely, you can’t be serious?

Steamboat Springs beat Glenwood Springs, 3-0, in Tuesday’s Western Slope semifinals.

Yes, I am, and stop calling me Shirley.

This “Airplane” reference can only be used in extreme circumstances, but we’re here.

Battle Mountain did its part to set up a Huskies-Glenwood league final at Gates Field at the Spring Valley CMC on Thursday at 7 p.m., by downing Palisade, 2-1, on Monday. The 13-1 Huskies were ready to atone for that “1.” They had been so politic since April 5, a 3-0 loss to those Demons.

“We’ll be happy to play either one,” Huskies coach David Cope said of Glenwood and Steamboat on Tuesday afternoon.

“If we are fortunate enough to beat Palisade, we’ll play either Steamboat or Glenwood,” Emily Cope said Saturday.

Only when prodded mercilessly did the Cope who wears No. 5, say, “Maybe, maybe, maybe, we might play Glenwood.”

And Madame Emily drew out those three maybes to emphasize how she and her teammates were on task, and certainly not looking ahead to the Demons.

All politeness aside, the Huskies wanted and were expecting Glenwood. Now, it’s Battle Mountain against Steamboat Springs in Glenwood Springs for the title. (Could we move this to Oak Creek?)

So what say you now, David Cope?

“It doesn’t change anything,” said the Cope who sits on the top of the seat back of the bench with a piece of paper folded into quarters. “We get to play for a league championship. It restores the historic rivalry between Steamboat and Battle Mountain and we know that they are going to bring their best game. They are going to be a desperate team, playing to get into the state playoffs. We have to manage the situation.”

Yes, the league championship is up for grabs as well as seeding — Battle Mountain is in the state playoffs already. But it will be interesting to see how the Huskies react to playing a Steamboat team they’ve beaten, 5-0 and 4-0.

That last sentence is really weird. As Cope said in his final quote, Steamboat Springs is Battle Mountain soccer’s raison d’etre, be it the fall or spring. This is the rare sport for the Huskies in which beating Eagle Valley is not the prime objective. In soccer, it’s the Sailors, not the Devils.

The Huskies thought they’d earned a Glenwood rematch with a satisfying 2-1 win over the Bulldogs. Stop us if you’ve heard this one before, but Logan Nash scored, with an assist going to Acacia Ortiz. The feel-good goal was a senior affair from Jenai Denardo to Taylor Denning minutes later.

This was fitting as the Class of 2014 has certainly done its part to restore the luster to Battle Mountain spring soccer. As fresh-people in 2011, the Huskies did not make the playoffs, something that is just assumed. (That year included a 4-2 “home” loss to Delta at Eagle Valley, one of the low points in Cope’s coaching career.)

But this group has grown, making the playoffs the past three years, including winning the inaugural Slope championship tournament this past spring for the school’s first girls soccer crown since 2008.

“Awesome,” Cope said. “It was a really nice culmination for this group. They are so great the way they treat each other on and off the field. Their GPAs, they’re some of the top students in the whole school. It’s amazing group of kids.”

The seniors on the squad are Mindy Vickers, Denning, Alexis Nibbelink, Megan Hogfeldt, Denardo, Courtois, Karely Duran and Ali Teague.

FARMER’S KORNER

Huskies lax wins at Summit, maybe

Even with an orange ball, it was hard to see the action on Monday for Battle Mountain lacrosse.

Somewhere in that whiteout, the Huskies got out to a 9-1 halftime lead and understandably started up the bus out of survival instinct on its way to an 11-4 win.

“It was a blizzard,” said coach Jerry Nichols, who has presumably warmed up by now. “It was just super-cold. We had numb hands. We had numb feet. We were using orange balls and we couldn’t see the ball. When Battle Mountain lacrosse goes to Summit, it always snows.”

The Huskies (12-2) host Grand Junction at 5:30 p.m. on Friday for Senior Night. The forecast is for a high of 61 degrees.

EDWARDS

VMS soccer topples Saints

Vail Mountain School soccer beat an injury-riddled Vail Christian squad, 6-0, on Tuesday at Freedom Park in Edwards.

Kristen Vossler scored twice and Sydney Sappenfield, Taylor Washing, Hannah Hardenbergh and Amy Blakslee had goals.

The bigger picture is the playoff one. VMS (4-4 in league) still has a shot, although it needs some help. While the permutations involving the Gore Rangers making the playoffs require a NASA supercomputer, the most important thing is to win on Thursday at Rangely.

“It could be our last game, and we’re going to be playing it to win,” VMS coach Ted O’Reilly said. “We could sneak in (to the playoffs), but a lot of that depends on fate. We want to finish strong, if we are finishing, for our seniors, and set the stage for our younger players.”

Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934, cfreud@vaildaily.com and @cfreud.


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The VailDaily Updated Apr 29, 2014 10:21PM Published May 1, 2014 04:35PM Copyright 2014 The VailDaily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.