Back to back
EAGLE-VAIL – In training camp in August, Huskies soccer coach David Cope told midfielder Tyler Cole that he wanted the senior to step it up offensively in 2005.Cole has and he delivered the biggest goal of the season to date on Saturday when his corner kick in the 33rd minute deflected off Glenwood Springs goalie Matt Hartman to give Battle Mountain a 1-0 win and back-to-back 4A Slope titles. “We tried to put it in the middle,” Cole said. “But when you play that long in that end of the field, something’s bound to happen. I wouldn’t say it was luck or anything like that. We had a lot of good chances. Good luck comes from good preparation.””He consistently chips in, always on the defensive end,” Huskies coach David Cope said. “Lately, he’s been chipping in goals and assists and timely balls through. He’s dynamic. He said, ‘If you play in front of the other team’s goal enough, good things will happen. If you play in front of your own goal long enough, bad things will happen.’ It was just that he played it in there and the break happened.”
Party timeAnd despite fierce play from the visiting Demons, the Huskies (12-0 overall and 10-0 in the Slope) were able to celebrate a title for the second year in a row on their home pitch.”They’re all special, but I think this one, we were playing against Glenwood and that was the team we were vying against,” said Cope who was still drying off from a happy drenching by his players. “Instead of just accumulating a bunch of points and mathematically clinching against another team, today had the feeling of a final. If they win, they probably win the league. If we win, we win the league. And to have it be so close and to come down to the end, it’s exciting. It really felt special.””This one is so much better,” Cole said. “Last year, we beat Moffat pretty handily (to clinch), but this was a hard-fought game all the time. It was much better this time to go back to back, especially because it’s my senior year.”Even Huskies striker Gustavo Bronfield who had plenty of chances, but could not capitalize was on cloud nine.
“I was really disappointed. I couldn’t score, but I’m really glad that we got the W,” he said. “Hopefully, we’ll just make it all the way. I’m five times happier than last year because we’re undefeated. That’s what makes me happy.”On the other end of the spectrum were the Demons who came very close to stealing away the title from the Huskies. Glenwood is 10-2 overall and 8-2 in the Slope with both of its losses coming at the hands of Battle Mountain.”We did play a good game,” Glenwood coach Craig Plizga said. “We had some unlucky calls not go our way. We had an unlucky bounce go our way. That was the game, a skim, a bounce.”‘Los Huskies’
The Demons stifled the normally potent Huskies, but Cope said that that’s the way games come when the calendar turns to mid-October.”That’s awesome. We’ve talked about grinding them out this time of year,” the coach said. “Sometimes you have to. All credit to Glenwood. They battled hard, but our kids showed a lot of heart, corazon as we say. Los Huskies are hard to beat. Its hard to break us down. I thought with a little bit of finishing we could have put the game away earlier.”Glenwood did have its chances. The Demons had two golden opportunities for the equalizer late in the game. Corey McGrath fed Pat Waller for a header which went wide left in the 73rd minute. With one minute to go, Patrick Shepard drilled one on the net, but Huskies goalie Josh Ruark was there to stop it.That was just one of many great saves for the senior.”I was just excited to be playing for this big opportunity and we took it,” Ruark said. “It was fun. I had a little stretch during the season where I didn’t play very well. I’ve just started playing better ever since. I’m starting to get there.”
Leave it to Huskies striker Edgar Hernandez to toot Ruark’s horn.”He’s such a a great keeper,” Hernandez said. “He’s one of the best I’ve seen. He just made some great saves.”It was also a big day for the Huskies’ back line.”Defense, defense, defense,” Cole said. “Josh made some big saves. Connor (Drumm)’s always there, Tony (Seibert), Taylor (Telling). Give it to the defense on the zero.”
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Looking aheadThere’s a lot of season still to be played for both teams. Glenwood’s at Moffat County Monday and hosts Eagle Valley Thursday. A record of 12-2 would look awfully good to CHSAA’s seeding committee.”We’ve got two big games coming up,” Plizga said. “We’ve got Moffat County on Monday and then we have Eagle Valley. We’re looking at taking Moffat County and then we’ll deal with Eagle Valley when that comes.”We played well enough to win this game. There’s no reason to adjust anything. We’re playing quality soccer and we’re going to continue to play quality soccer.”Meanwhile, Battle Mountain hopes to run the table. The Huskies, as they have been all season, will need to be road warriors. They’re at Moffat Tuesday, followed by a night game Friday at Steamboat, and Saturday, they’re at Summit.
“Seeding now becomes a big factor,” Cope said. “We want to earn a fair seed. Moffat County’s a big game. They have a great goal keeper and they have a really good forward who’s the leading scorer in our league. So it’s a great test to go up there.”Just for kicksFormer Eagle Valley coach and now referee Dave Marjoram fell ill during Thursday’s Vail Mountain-Basalt junior varsity game and was flown to Denver. “The boys have been thinking about Dave Marjoram all week,” Cope said. “… He’s in intensive care down there. He’s coming home today, So hopefully, he’ll be reading the Vail Daily tomorrow morning. We just want to let him know that the boys have been thinking about him. It’s a pretty close soccer community.” … The alums were back for this one. We give a holler to Tavius Simms and Nick “I need a Giants cap” Spanel. … Cope spent a portion of his postgame interview talking up Glenwood with regard to seeding in the playoffs. The bracket comes out Oct. 23 on chsaa.org. … Who’s the Huskies MVP in 2005. Who knows? “The fact that you can’t name an MVP on this team says a lot,” Cope said. “There are five or six guys who could be not just the best player on our team, but the best player in our league. That’s exciting. That’s going to show that we’re going to be difficult to beat down the road.Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 614 or via email@example.com.