Bailey, Devils top Huskies, 9-6, in Eagle
EAGLE, Colorado ” Eagle Valley boys lacrosse logged the first win in its program’s history Friday at the Eagle County Fairgrounds.
And it’s pretty safe to say the Devils will remember forever against whom that win came.
Eagle Valley 9, Battle Mountain 6.
“It’s pretty nice,” senior Eagle Valley defender Ethan Andre said. “They’re our big rivals. We respect them. I’ve got a bunch of buddies over there, but it’s nice to keep it on our side, saying we’re the victors.”
In the much-anticipated first lax meeting between the county’s two public schools ” they were meant to play two weeks ago, but snow intervened ” the Huskies took a 5-2 lead early in the second quarter before the Devils came storming back for the win, behind a whopping five goals from Zach Bailey.
After years of club play an a seemingly-interminable wait from the start of spring practice in February, the Devils (1-1) are in the win column.
“It’s wonderful. I’m happy for the kids,” Eagle Valley coach Eric Mandeville said. “I’m proud of them. They worked hard. It was a good game. You could actually see the level (of play) has taken a step.”
With the loss the Huskies (0-3) are still looking for their first win.
“I tell them to keep their heads up. We played OK,” Huskies coach Bob Daino said. “We hustled the whole game. I can’t ask for more than that. They’re a young team and we get to play them again on turf next time.”
That’s April 18 in Edwards, if anyone’s wondering.
The Devils looked very much like a team which had played the day before during the first quarter of Friday’s game. The Devils lost at Aspen Thursday night, and Battle Mountain looked much fresher in the early going.
Eagle Valley led 2-1 on scores from John Landreth (the first of his two) and Bailey, while Patrick Perry had Battle Mountain’s first. The Huskies then surged with markers from Reeve Sanders, Matt Granzo and Chris Libertini for a 4-2 lead after 12 minutes.
While the Huskies did extend that to 5-2 in the second, courtesy of Coleby Henzlik, two trends started to emerge. The first was that Mandeville, regardless of the fact his team played Thursday, was not happy with the Devils’ effort. And he let his team know about it.
“I always tell the kids I’ll always understand and work with them if they’re beat by a kid who’s faster than them or who’s played longer or who has the better stick,” the coach said. “We work on how to play a kid who’s better than you. The one non-negotiable thing is that we need the kids to try. If they give me 100 percent, we’re always going to be happy. That first quarter, they weren’t trying, and they knew it. That’s our pep talk.”
While Mandeville was laying down the law, the Huskies started the second period with a three-minute illegal stick penalty. While the Devils didn’t score during Libertini’s penalty, it was the beginning of the trend. There was a black-and-gold parade to the sin bin for the rest of the game.
“I’ve got to teach them better. That’s the bottom line,” Daino said. “That’s my fault.”
No one was responsible, though, for Bailey erupting. He pulled the Devils to within 5-4 at the half. Landreth got the equalizer with 5:10 left in the third. Two more goals from Bailey gave the Devils a 7-5 lead.
“He was awesome,” Andre said. “I love Zach. I love coming down the field and getting the pass off to him and watching him go in for the shot. It’s awesome.”
Battle Mountain closed to 7-6 behind Sanders, but the Devils were wearing the Huskies down. Eagle Valley’s Bryon Carillo likely had the highlight-reel goal of the game, losing several Huskies defenders before ripping the twine. Teammate Otto Jordan, despite getting knocked in the noggin by one of his own players, wrapped the scoring a minute later.
“First CHSAA game against our rivals, and we beat them,” Bailey said. “We were down at the beginning. We started to pick it up at the beginning of the second quarter and started getting goals right after another. I think it dropped their spirit and we kept pushing it.”
Both teams are off next week for spring break and return to action March 31. The Devils host Summit County, while the Huskies entertain Steamboat Springs.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 or firstname.lastname@example.org.