Huskies head to semifinals vs. Cyclones | VailDaily.com

Huskies head to semifinals vs. Cyclones

I admit it.

Battle Mountain soccer was done during Saturday's quarterfinals. Down 1-0 at the half, OK, the Huskies can come back. When D'Evelyn scored that second goal, curtains, Battle Mountain had none chance.

That said, we're all heading down to EchoPark Automotive Stadium in Parker for tonight's semifinal against Pueblo West at 7. I'm not a fan of corporate sponsorship of stadiums, but I'm calling it EchoPark Automotive Stadium because I punched that into my phone and it works. You should do that, too.

Holy cow

Back to the comeback, that second D'Evelyn goal was a gut punch. On another note, I was really starting to take Saturday's games personally. Between the Vail Mountain School and the Huskies' game to that point, I was down, 4-0, on the day.

And let the record state that I had changed out some of my Giants gear for the different games. I have a specific Giants' sweatshirt for Huskies soccer, first worn in 2012 for a certain game against Evergreen, and I wear it to significant games. Obviously, I do more orange for VMS games, but the orange 2010 Giants jacket kept me warm during the 2012 state title game, so it stayed for Battle Mountain.

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Yes, your sports writer passed the crazy line a long time ago, but I know you all have your routines. Pastor Rob Wilson watches the game by himself. Please stay away from him.

Juan Macias' penalty kick seemed like a nice consolation prize to make the score look better in the end.

Yes, I was viewing the glass as half-empty as opposed to half-full. That's being a fan. It's also the observation of a guy who's been watching Battle Mountain soccer for 20 years now.

The Huskies had never overcome two-goal deficit in the postseason. The last time the Huskies had been down two goals and won any game was Sept. 3, 2013, the 5-4 overtime win when Kevan Aubel scored on a penalty kick in overtime. Aaron Milligan scored with 30 seconds left to send it to extra time. This year's seniors were little freshman back then.

This game crystalized the intangible quality for which I've been searching to describe this team. The 2012 squad, to which there are inevitable comparisons since that year and this year are the only two teams to advance this far, was more talented.

This is not a dis, but Roberto Diaz, Heivan Garcia and Alex Trujillo aren't walking through that door. Oh, wait, they did during the postgame. OK, Joe LyBarger, Christian Espinoza and Gunnar Wilson aren't walking through that door.

What the current edition of Battle Mountain soccer has is grit and the right amount of arrogance. I asked Taylor Staughton if he thought the Huskies could come back.

"Of course, we can. We just did," he said matter-of-factly.

The ability to rally is the takeaway from the quarterfinal. It's an invaluable club in the bag. That said, on behalf of the Huskies' faithful, let's not fall behind tonight.

Meet the Cyclones

The first thing that jumps out at you is that Pueblo West's Michael Peters (No. 10) has 30 goals this season and Dylan Stanley (No. 9) has nine goals and 24 assists. I'm not a soccer coach, and I don't play one on TV, but the Huskies are probably going to pay attention to those two.

The Cyclones are 14-4, and finished third in South Central League. Since having Pueblo on your name is apparently a requirement for membership in this circuit, South, Centennial and West all finished tied for first with the teams finishing in that order based on goals allowed in the league.

Both the Huskies and the Cyclone have Montrose as a common opponent, and each squad took care of the Indians, 2-1. The Cyclones' four losses are all to 4A playoffs teams — Air Academy, Palmer Ridge and Pueblo South (twice).

To get here, the Cyclones beat Greeley West, Mullen and Evergreen, which is an impressive resume.

And, if you're wondering, it's The Classical Academy and Durango in the first semifinal.

Words of wisdom

Again, while we appreciate the ability Battle Mountain has shown to come back, let's try to avoid that 2-0 hole.

Seriously, by game No. 19, there are no major adjustments. It's kind of simple really. Take a deep breath, because, sure, you're going to be psyched to be in the semis, but just play our game.

Wide, wide, wide, gents. It's not a football pitch like at Longmont. Make the Cyclones chase. No emotion, fellas, just soccer.

Let's go.

Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 and cfreud@vaildaily.com.

If you go …

What: Class 4A state soccer semifinals, Battle Mountain vs. Pueblo West

Where: EchoPark Automotive Stadium, 11901 Newlin Gulch Blvd, Parker, CO 80134

When: 7 p.m.