Huskies down Tigers 3-0 to improve to 3-0 on the season
Fiona Lloyd's two first-half goals and Elle Glendinning's third-straight shutout guide Huskies
Fiona Lloyd was the hero in Thursday’s 1-0 win over Denver East, and the senior came through again Saturday on her home turf against Grand Junction. After scoring the team’s lone goal against the Angels, Lloyd punched in two first-half goals to propel Battle Mountain to a 3-0 win over the Tigers as the Huskies improved to 3-0 on the year.
“What a fantastic week,” head coach Dave Cope said. “We schedule ambitiously because we want to stretch out players, so to go away to Denver East and win and then we already picked up a league win — so this week couldn’t have gone any better.”
So far this season, Cope’s team hasn’t allowed a goal.
“I think we’re defending with 11, it’s not just the keepers,” the coach continued.
“But also, we’re very athletic in the back. Between Charlotte Thelan, Claire Serbinski, Ryan O’Connor and Molly Reeder in the back — we’re just really solid. And we’re also defending all over the field, which I love.”
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His forwards were tracking back and getting little tackles and pokes on Saturday, too. “It just makes everyone’s life easier,” Cope said.
In the first half, Cassie Ledezma — who had the assist in Thursday’s win — and Monica Duran were knocking on the door periodically as the more physical Huskies controlled possession. Late in the half, Ledezma received an entry pass on the left edge of the 18-yard box and drove in close. With a Tiger riding her right hip, the senior shot it straight on and above the goaltender from 10 yards out. The keeper tipped the ball up and off the crossbar, where it ricocheted right. A group of Huskies collapsed in close for the rebound opportunity, which bounced off the crossbar again. The third time was the charm for Lloyd, who booted it from just right of the right post for the game’s first score.
Shortly after, Lloyd struck again with her fourth goal of the year, helping the black and gold ride into halftime with a commanding 2-0 lead.
“She’s very versatile — she can play anywhere,” Cope said. “I think she’s connecting a little more with Cassie. So, sometimes at times last year, they would get isolated and this year they’re really seeing each other well.”
Battle Mountain didn’t let up in the second. Six minutes in, Molly Reeder shot a high, right-footed missile from the right angle and after the ball bounced off the goaltender’s hands, it, too, almost dribbled into the goal. It was a reminder to the Tigers that their opponent intended on keeping the gas on the pedal.
Less than two minutes later, freshman Thea Armistead lofted a beautiful arc from just outside the right corner of the penalty box to Alessandra Caballero, who was cutting into the left side of the six-yard box. Caballero received the dime in-stride and converted the easy left-footer to put the home team up 3-0.
“For a freshman to start at Battle Mountain is a big honor,” Cope said of Armistead, who has stepped in for an ill Dalia Ledezma the last two games. Meanwhile, Elle Glendinning didn’t face too much pressure throughout the later stages of the game, but an athletic save preserved her third-straight shutout with 15 minutes to go.
“I think we just have a really strong back line and also we’re all just working so well together,” said Glendinning. “We’re stepping together, we’re dropping together and we’re maintaining possession for so long the other team doesn’t get the ball very much.”
Battle Mountain will look to move to 4-0 next Thursday at home against Summit.
“I think we have a really good chance of making it far in the playoffs,” Glendinning said of the team’s outlook. “This is one of the best teams I think we’ve ever had. We have really good chemistry and we’re working really well together, so I think this team can do a lot.”