Battle Mountain soccer rolls past Devils
Barajas has the hat trick
EDWARDS — The quantitative difference between Battle Mountain and Eagle Valley soccer was six goals on Tuesday night. The qualitative difference was on display in just one sequence.
The Huskies’ Andy Lopez, starting on the right sideline, split two Devils defenders and hit Karsen Williams on the run. Williams immediately advanced the ball to Dani Barajas who buried it past Eagle Valley keeper Brandon St. Onge.
Battle Mountain’s talent, and, more importantly, its execution was simply superior in the Huskies’ 6-0 conference-opening win against Eagle Valley in Edwards.
“Today in the pregame, we didn’t talk about the result or the rankings,” Huskies coach David Cope said. “It’s just about what things on the field can we improve? What areas can we do this or that better? That’s really the focus. … This group has high standards. They know they’re not just competing against the other team but within the squad.”
Yes, Battle Mountain is ranked No. 1 in the CHSAA.com poll, a nice honor but something that means nothing. The Huskies are No. 5 in an all-too-early look at the rating-percentage index. It’s about playing well and taking care of business.
Seniors stepping up
One way to do that is to have seniors step into varsity roles without a hitch which brings us to players like Williams. He got snatches of play last year and a taste for the show, but this is his season and, like many before him, he’s making the most of it.
Williams had two goals and two assists coming into Tuesday’s match and he scored Battle Mountain’s first and assisted on the second.
“It’s been a lot of fun playing with the boys I’ve been going to school with every year, watching and learning stuff,” Williams said. I’m getting my opportunity.”
And making the most of it, as is Dani Barajas, who had a hat trick in 28 minutes. Williams scored from Louis Castillo. Williams, Trevino Twiss and Ivan “Tommy” Solis all fed Barajas as the Huskies led 4-0 at the half.
Lopez and Wyatt Hall scored in the second half. In the necessary-nitpicking department, the Huskies didn’t finish well, a strange but true thing to say after a 6-0 victory, and needed to build more out of the back.
With the matter already decided, the only drama was whether the Huskies were going to get the shutout.
“Super important just to show everyone else in the league,” senior midfielder Harrison Rubis said. “It’s important to us to keep that clean sheet.”
Yes, Cope, Harrison and the Huskies like their goose eggs. Goals-against are also an important feature in tiebreakers come the end of the season.
Tuesday was the first of three league games for Battle Mountain (3-0) this week. Rifle is here on Thursday, followed by Palisade.
For Eagle Valley, Tuesday was a tough one. While it wasn’t exactly fun at the time, these are experiences upon which the Devils (1-2) can build.
“There’s always disappointment in a loss that’s hard to get rid of,” Eagle Valley coach Maggie Sherman said. “Just being able to play teams that are at a higher level gives us that much more to work for. We’re going to look at the film and see what went right and what we can fix and keep going.”
The Devils are off for the rest of this week before playing three games next week —at Steamboat Springs and home for both Glenwood Springs and Montrose.