EDWARDS — Add another chapter to the lore of Battle Mountain and Glenwood Springs soccer.
Fall or spring, it’s big.
The current crop of Huskies etched itself into the rivalry as Battle Mountain girls soccer upset the Demons, 3-1, Tuesday night in the inaugural 4A Slope semifinals in Edwards. Battle Mountain faces Palisade, winners of a shootout against Steamboat Springs Tuesday, in Thursday’s league-title game at 7 p.m. at Gates Field on the Glenwood Springs campus of Colorado Mountain College.
“It’s awesome. I’m so excited for our team,” Battle Mountain junior Jenai Denardo said. “We haven’t beaten Glenwood, so it’s awesome.”
Denardo has lots of other company in Huskies Nation. Battle Mountain had lost six straight to the Demons, including a 2-0 defeat in Edwards on April 6. One has to go back to May 2, 2008, for Battle Mountain girls soccer’s last win over Glenwood. That was a 4-0 win at Stubler which capped a 15-0 regular season, the only time Battle Mountain had run the table until the boys did it last fall.
“We really admire what the Glenwood girls have done over the last few years in our league,” Huskies coach David Cope said. “They’ve really set the bar. We see two great players there and one on the bench. We’ve got huge respect for Jenna Brown, Lilly McSwain and Jackie Knott. It’s been fun to compete against them for four years. Having said all that, we’re pretty happy.”
Cope was happy in sedate sort-of Cope way. The ladies in Battle Mountain black, white and gold were ecstatic, jumping all over goalie Mindy Vickers and saluting their fans.
“We got together. We talked,” Denardo said of the days leading up to Tuesday’s game. “We said, ‘We want this. We’re going to practice like we’re playing Glenwood everyday.’ We worked hard for it.”
Denardo certainly did. She got the unenviable task of having to mark McSwain, who had 24 goals on the season. McSwain had scored in 12 of the 13 games the Demons had played this year. Denardo pitched a shutout.
Meanwhile, the Huskies had plenty of offensive firepower. Molly Phannenstiel to Acacia Ortiz in the third minute was the only tally in the first half. Denardo fed Morgan Croke at the beginning of the second half for what would be the game-winner.
Glenwood’s Brown halved the lead, but Emily Cope crushed her shot late to add some insurance for the Huskies with the assist going to Rosie Davies.
“It’s awesome,” David Cope said. “I think our girls put on gutsy performance, really fitting for a lot of kids. For Jenai to mark McSwain, to do a great defensive job, but also to create the winning goal, that’s justice. Sometimes the game creates beautiful scenarios like that.”
Devils lax falls on Senior Night
GYPSUM — Eagle Valley boys lacrosse coach Ted Boddy has a joke about his senior class.
“They’d run through a brick wall for me, if I asked them,” he said.
With that in mind, it was a bittersweet occasion as the Devils fell to Fruita Monument, 16-9, Tuesday night at Hot Stuff Stadium in Gypsum.
That was the home finale for Rick Ramunno, Sam Boyd, Jordon Hudspeth, Andy Armstrong, Grant Johnson, Jesus Garcia, Joey Sanchez, Anziel Duarte and Garrett Fyler.
“They are the most coach-able guys I have ever had,” Boddy said. “They may not have been pure lacrosse players, but to have kids that would have done anything for you meant a ton to our program.”
Eagle Valley was short on goalies, which was a big factor in this game. Its top-three netminders were unable to go, due to injury or the flu. Boddy said after the game that the loss was on him because he didn’t plan for such a scenario.
Lane Smith and Noah Ejnes did an admirable job in net under the circumstances. Offensively, Nick Briggs led the way with five goals, while Boyd had two, Johnny Bailey and Mike Ramunno also scored.
Though Eagle Valley dropped to 5-9 with the loss, Boddy still thinks the Devils have a shot to make the playoffs with a win at Durango Friday.
Huskies girls lax wins fifth straight
CONIFER — Battle Mountain girls lacrosse is doing its best to keep itself in the playoff picture.
The Huskies whipped Conifer, 15-5, Monday for their fifth-straight win. Clare Baker had seven goals and scooped 10 ground balls. Maddi Conlin won seven draws and had a hat trick. Mabry Gentry scored twice and Skylar Cheney found the back of the net.
Siena Miller did have 11 saves in goal, but she’s probably more pumped about picking up a rare assist.
Battle Mountain’s 9-3, but perhaps, more importantly, is ranked No. 20 in 4A in the state, according to maxpreps.com. Twenty’s a pretty important number as that’s the number of teams CHSAA takes for the state playoffs. (Please note that the maxpreps computer poll is in no way binding. The CHSAA selection committee makes the decision Sunday.)
In the meantime, the Huskies are at Fruita Monument Wednesday and have Senior Night against Grand Junction Friday at 4 p.m.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 or via firstname.lastname@example.org.