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Senior spotlight: Battle Mountain soccer

In breaking news, Cope quotes The Boss

Battle Mountain's Kate Mitchell overcame an ACL injury to become one of the team's leading scorers last season.
Chris Dillmann | Daily file photo

The Class of 2020 of Battle Mountain girls soccer started its varsity career with five straight losses.

Huskies soccer just doesn’t have five-game losing streaks, much less going 7-8 and missing the playoffs — gasp — during the 2017 season.

Those same seven seniors finished as two-time 4A Western Slope League champions, compiling a 25-7-4 mark and were looking for a three-peat before their last season was wiped out by the coronavirus.

Battle Mountain’s Maggie Skidmore, the third of her name, helped anchor a stout defense for two league championship teams (Jason Spannagel |Special to the Daily)
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As forgettable as their freshman season was, it was simultaneously unforgettable. After starting 0-5, the Huskies won six in a row, capped by a by 2-1 win against archrival Steamboat Springs in overtime. Goalie — yes, goalie — Jordan Glendining scored the golden goal with two seconds left in extra time. (Folks, this was one of the greatest games ever.)

“This was the first group after Emily (Cope) and Acacia (Ortiz),” said Huskies coach David Cope of the nucleus of his teams that won league titles from 2013-15. “There was a little lull and this group came in and made their own personality.”

And just like Emily Cope, Ortiz and Logan Nash, the Class of 2020 started winning as a habit. The aforementioned 2017 Steamboat win as well as a snow-filled win on the Sailors’ pitch in 2018 were some of the memories recalled on the team’s Senior Night on Zoom on Tuesday evening.

Cope, the coach, naturally wrote a poem for the occasion and shockingly cited Bruce Springsteen.

“For the ones who had a notion, a notion deep inside / That it ain’t no sin to be glad you’re alive,” from The Boss’ song, “Badlands,” was the quote.

“This group had joie de vivre,” Cope said. “It’s easy to look at (COVID-19) and be depressed. They kept a positive view.”

Battle Mountain’s Rayna Kenney and her family moved from Florida and springs in Eagle County were a bit of an adjustment. (Jason Spannagel | Special to the Daily)
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This spring wasn’t the first time the Class of 2020 took on a challenge. Last spring Northfield, a Denver squad, was Battle Mountain’s playoff opponent. On a typically snowy day, Northfield’s bus slid off Interstate 70 coming down Vail Pass. Happily, no one was injured.

Nonetheless, the Huskies, led by now-seniors Maggie Skidmore and Rayna Kenney, brought cookies, signs and greeting cards to the Nighthawks at their hotel. Continuing to be polite, Battle Mountain beat Northfield, 3-0, the next day.

That left an impression on Nighthawks coach Peter Bunting so much that he called Cope about scheduling the Huskies for nonconference play during the next two-year CHSAA cycle.

The Class of 2020:

• Paola Solis … The next Hugh Wodlinger, meaning that she worked her way through the program for four years and was poised to have a breakout senior season.

• Rayna Kenney … The former Floridian did snow angels on Steamboat’s pitch after a huge 2-0 win against the Sailors in 2018.

• Cayla Woodworth … Along with Skidmore, the heart of the defense, one of several reasons the team felt confident about three-peating.

• Michelle Dominguez … A soccer rat meant as a compliment. She loves the game so much that she may have streamed Champions League matches during class, but don’t tell anyone about that.

• Kate Mitchell … Tore her ACL in 2018 and scored 13 goals in 2019.

• Maggie Skidmore … The third of the dynasty (Jack and Mallory) in the program and a superb defender.

• Linnea Genitz … When asked where she wanted to play, the Swedish exchange student said, “Wherever you want, Coach.”


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