A first, Huskies win at Steamboat
Vail, CO Colorado
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colorado ” Battle Mountain girls soccer coach Dave Cope allowed for a little different postgame activity after Saturday’s 2-0 victory at archrival Steamboat Springs.
Cope, who normally talks about the next opponent after a game and pounds home key points, didn’t mention Thursday’s opponent, Delta, or discuss the importance of playing wide.
Instead, the coach allowed his Huskies and their 10 seniors to take in the program’s first victory at Steamboat.
“I decided to let the girls enjoy the moment,” Cope said. “This is a huge accomplishment so we’re letting the girls bask in it. For now, we just wanted to let the girls enjoy this game. On Monday, we’ll start looking at Delta.”
While the Huskies have accomplished a lot in the last four years, including an undefeated regular season last year with the only blemish being a scoreless tie here, beating the Sailors on their home pitch has been on the “to-do” list.
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“No other word, but fabulous. Pretty much fabulous,” Huskies veteran midfielder Emily LyBarger said. “We had some major girls step up today, Kylee Gilbert, Allison Edwards and Maddy my sister. It was awesome.”
From the onset, Battle Mountain showed why again it will be the team to beat in the Western Slope.
The Huskies controlled the ball for much of the first half, and got a goal from Marisa Ammaturo in the seventh minute to go up 1-0.
Ammaturo repossessed the ball just outside of the Steamboat box and let a drive go from 25 yards out that just graced over the hands of Sailors goalie Hanna Berglund.
“Not a lot of girls would have the confidence to rip a shot from 25 or 30 yards out,” Cope said. “But as we’ve talked about, you miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.”
While Cope uttered that pseudo-Yogi-ism, getting a quick start on the Sailors was one of the coach’s pregame talking points.
Battle Mountain continued to control the pace of play until the 45th minute. That’s when Steamboat ” a team with just two seniors ” started to gain possession.
The Sailors’ best chance for an equalizer came in the 46th minute when sophomore Mia Quick crossed a ball that was just deflected out of the Huskies box.
“It was definitely better. Attacking was our sole focus at halftime,” Steamboat coach Rob Bohlmann said. “We said, ‘Let’s not play neutrally. Let’s not play negatively, but let’s play positively.'”
Despite controlling the ball, Steamboat continued to struggle getting shots off against the Battle Mountain defense.
The Sailors took only three shots on goal, and just one in the first half.
Cope went to pains in the postgame to praise the work of defenders of Jamie Lee Roberts, Kelly VanHee, Maddy LyBarger and Allison Edwards as well as older LyBarger.
“We’ve been superb defensively all year,” Cope said. “We haven’t allowed a goal yet. So we thought if we could get a second (goal) it was pretty unlikely they were going to score three.”
That second goal came in the 74th minute when Ammaturo crossed a corner kick to Lizzie Seibert, who headed it home.
“Lizzie and I have a connection,” Ammaturo said. “Whenever I send a corner her head just seems to find the ball. I yelled out Lizzie, kicked it and it went in.”
And for those wondering how Seibert, whom most would describe as not exactly tall, got up in the air for the strike, remember that she scored with her head often last year as a freshman. Just consider her the second coming of Eric Eves, an old-school reference for Battle Mountain soccer fans.
Steamboat had one last chance, but Quick was just offside, thwarting a Sailors chance in the 78th minute.
With the win Battle Mountain finished a very busy first week of the season with a 3-0 mark.
“We’ve had the local darby, the nonconference game and the big league rival,” Cope said referring to wins over Eagle Valley, Summit County and Steamboat. For those who had March 15 in your pool for the first time that Cope would say “Darby,” this season, you’re a winner.
Battle Mountain’s originally-scheduled game against at Moffat County Tuesday has been postponed. The Huskies are at Delta Thursday at 4 p.m.
– To reach Luke Graham, call (970) 871-4229 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Vail Daily Sports Editor Chris Freud contributed to this report.