EDWARDS — Need a jump-start?
Battle Mountain soccer’s Edgardo Rodriguez came off the bench on Saturday, and assisted the first two goals and scored another as the Huskies bounced Delta, 6-0, in Edwards to start the season 2-0.
“Coach told me that he wanted me to come onto the field and score or do something good,” Rodriguez said.
In the 31st minute, his pass down the left side to David Ortiz was a thing of beauty. Ortiz slammed it into the right panel. Three minutes later, Rodriguez fed Francisco Serna for a 2-0 halftime lead.
“We said to Edgar, ‘Just come in and change the game,’” Huskies coach David Cope said. “When you have a player come off the bench you don’t want (to substitute) like for like. You want to see change. I thought he did that really well.”
Battle Mountain quickly dismantled Delta’s high offside trap with three goals to start the second half. Donnie Leavitt had two of those, both from Uriel Lopez. Rodriguez’s tally was sandwiched by those Leavitt goals. Andrew Herrera scored late.
Though Cope didn’t say it in postgame — the Huskies had six goals from five different players, always one of the coach’s favorite themes.
Have a weekend, Owen
The Huskies’ defense definitely got more of a test on Saturday against Delta than it did during Thursday’s breezy 9-0 victory over Palisade. Late in the second half, Huskies goalie Jack Skidmore came out to stop a Delta breakaway. Skidmore went out to meet the attacker and got him, instead of the ball. It was a clean play, but since the keeper was the last defender and he ended up taking out the Panthers attacker, Skidmore got a red card and was done for the afternoon.
Cope agreed with the call, saying that Skidmore was being aggressive and that it was bad luck with the collision.
More importantly, Owen Riley came off the bench and stuffed Delta’s Danny Mendoza on the ensuing penalty kick. Riley’s having a good stretch of late. He caught two touchdown passes in Friday’s football game and then preserved a soccer shutout on Saturday.
“Penalty shots are my favorite part of goal keeping,” Riley said. “It was fun. I was excited for it. I just tried to scare the other team by walking in front of them. The ref kind of got mad at me.”
Next up on the hit parade is Battle Mountain’s first road game — at Glenood Springs on Thursday. The issue is a very big game against The Classical Academy looms on Friday night in Edwards. The Titans, who moved from 3A to 4A before the season, have made a splash by drubbing Lewis-Palmer, 7-0, and then knocking off No.1-ranked Cheyenne Mountain, 1-0, earlier this week.
TCA will surely be ranked when CHSAA issues its new poll on Monday, setting up a marquee matchup in 4A soccer on Friday in Edwards — the Huskies are No. 5.
Of course, Glenwood Springs comes first for Battle Mountain.
“I think Glenwood catches everyone’s attention,” Cope said. “On the road at Glenwood is always difficult. It’s another challenge for us in terms of environment. We haven’t played a game on grass, and on a narrower field. There are definitely some challenges that will come out of that game.”
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934, firstname.lastname@example.org and @cfreud.