COLORADO SPRINGS — All good things must come to an end, and so it was with Battle Mountain soccer in a 3-0 loss at No. 1 Air Academy during Saturday’s quarterfinals in Colorado Springs.
Battle Mountain finished its valiant state-title defense with a 15-3 record.
“It was a great season,” Huskies coach David Cope said. “No regrets at all. We just got beat by a better team.”
There have been very few teams as good as Battle Mountain during the last two years. The Huskies went a combined 35-3. After last year’s magical 20-0 season, most around the state thought Battle Mountain would recede into the shadows. Instead, the Huskies won their first seven games of 2012 to make it a 27-game winning streak.
That streak seemed in jeopardy in only the second game of the season against archrival, Steamboat Springs. The visiting Sailors led 3-1 and 4-3, the latter with only 30 seconds left in regulation. Aaron Milligan tied it and Kevan Aubel scored on a penalty kick in the second overtime frame. Aubel ended up somewhere underneath an epic dog pile.
The streak finally came to an end with a 2-1 loss to Summit County on Sept. 27 in Edwards, but the Huskies were ready for the rematch in Farmer’s Korner. There, they knocked off the Tigers, 3-1, regaining control of the 4A Slope race.
Battle Mountain clinched its fourth consecutive league crown, and eighth in the last 10 years, with a win at Eagle Valley.
In the playoffs, the Huskies got by Durango, 2-1, on a golden goal by Roberto Diaz, and then knocked off No. 9 Niwot, 1-0, on Tuesday. Saturday’s game against Air Academy marked the 13th playoff game played during the four-year tenure of the Class of 2014.
“It’s a great group,” Cope said. “For example, of the other three teams that made the state semifinals last year, two (Palmer Ridge and Mullen) didn’t make the tournament, and Broomfield got beat today, 4-0. It’s not easy to repeat. There are no handles on that trophy.”
Air Academy, Ponderosa, Cheyenne Mountain and Evergreen make up the 4A’s Final Four on Wednesday.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 and firstname.lastname@example.org.