Prep notebook: Sailors’ wild comeback against Huskies has things all tied up atop the 4A Western Slope standings
Steamboat Springs rallied from a 5-2 deficit in the final 10 minutes of Thursday's league matchup
There was some good news and some bad news for the Husky hopeful coming out of Steamboat Springs Thursday night. First, the bad news: Battle Mountain gave up three goals in the final 10 minutes, turning a 5-2 lead into a 5-5 tie, their first of the year. The good news: the No. 4-ranked Huskies (9-1-1) haven’t fallen in the RPI rankings and they still control their own league-title destiny.
“We played really well, until we didn’t,” Dave Cope said of Thursday’s game. “We really should have pulled it off, but that’s the way it goes.”
Alexis Dozal and Jakob Methvin each scored to put Battle Mountain up 2-1 going into the half. Right out of the break, Leo Martinez found the back of the net to make it 3-1.
“We were dominating the game, dominating possession, playing well,” Cope said. “And we were feeling really good.”
Some of those positive vibes were diminished when Steamboat star Will Haden, with his back to the goal, bicycle-kicked a centering pass through the left corner from the top of the box.
Support Local Journalism
“Great goal — you gotta just hand it to the kid,” Cope said of Haden’s first of three goals.
Methvin responded with his second. Then, the Huskies got a great ball wide from Max McFarlane to Dozal, who launched one from the right angle to the left corner of the net. The keeper saved the shot, but a sprinting Cooper Skidmore came in from the far side and put in the rebound to make it 5-2.
Shortly after, Battle Mountain goalie Ezequiel Alvarez rolled his ankle and was pulled from the game. With the starter out, Steamboat pounced. Haden scored on a free kick at the 71st minute, and Jeffrey Sturges escaped for a through ball up the middle 60 seconds later. With four minutes remaining, Haden completed the hat trick to tie things up for good.
“Any time you allow a goal, it’s on 11 guys, it’s not on one,” Cope said about the Sailors’ late scoring spree. “It’s just a growth opportunity for all of us.”
Though the draw hasn’t impacted the team’s RPI rankings as of Friday, and the Huskies (5-1-1 league record) still control their own league-title aspirations, things could get messy on that front. If Battle Mountain wins out, everything is good in Edwards. If Steamboat Springs (also 5-1-1 in the league) wins out and the Huskies lose a game, the Sailors take it. If Glenwood Springs (4-2-1 league) wins out, they’re the champions, since they handed the Huskies their only loss of the year on Sept. 5 and hold the all-important tiebreaker.
Eagle Valley (5-4-1 overall, 2-3-1 league) could help out their rivals with a win over the Sailors next Tuesday. One would assume a victory there would bolster the Devils’ confidence going into their trip to Edwards the following Thursday.
Having scored 19 goals in their last three games, the Huskies’ highly-skilled trio of Methvin, Dozal and Grey Glowacki headline one of the most offensively powerful groups Cope has seen in his three decades of coaching.
“It’s definitely up there in the conversation,” Cope said.
“We feel really good about the attacking players we have, and how many of them we have. We’re in a good spot in that in a 7-1 (win), we get seven different goal scorers. So, we’re getting production from a lot of different players, and that’s a great thing.”
The defending state runner ups are still optimistic going into the final three weeks of the regular season. On Friday afternoon, Cope was setting up a soccer golf course around campus for a fun intersquad competition, in honor of the Ryder Cup. The No. 5 green required a delicate chip onto a round-about ‘island.’
“So hopefully it will raise spirits,” Cope said of his practice plans. “And begin to put (Thursday) to bed. … If things come together, there’s no telling what this team could do.”
Softball notes: Rifle gets revenge on Eagle Valley
After falling to Eagle Valley 8-7 in extra innings on Sept. 20, Rifle got some revenge on their league-rivals Thursday night in Gypsum. The Bears defeated the Devils 15-9 behind three runs from Rylan Petree. Petree went 2-for-3 from the plate; she was one of five players on her team with two hits.
Eagle Valley (11-8) finishes out the regular season at Basalt on Monday and at home against Palisade on Thursday.
Battle Mountain fell 15-0 against Grand Junction on Friday. The Huskies (2-7) will finish the year at Meeker on Tuesday.
Volleyball notes: Battle Mountain falls to Palisade
Palisade swept Battle Mountain 25-13, 25-20, 25-15 on Thursday to improve to 12-2 and drop the Huskies to 4-6 on the season. The Huskies are off until Oct. 7 when they travel to Aspen for a non-league matchup with the Skiers.