Battle Mountain blasts Palisade, 6-0
EAGLE-VAIL – On Saturday, yet another team learned that there may not be too many ways to stop Battle Mountain soccer from scoring.In the Huskies’ 6-0 trouncing of Palisade, the Bulldogs realized they couldn’t stop anyone – Battle Mountain forwards, midfielders or defenders – from scoring. The Huskies attack was so potent that even a Bulldog defender scored a goal on his own net.”I had no idea how good they were,” said Palisade coach Drake Jandreau. “They execute the game of soccer like it’s supposed to be done. They pass well, they have good speed, they are in constant motion – their whole game is very strong.”And they don’t let the opposition hang around too long.For the third time in three games, the Huskies scored in the first five minutes of play. On a corner kick tossed in front by Tyler Cole, defender Connor Drumm headed a ball past Palisade goalkeeper Chris Martin.”When we have a guy that can score a goal in the first five minutes and then be the leader of a shutout the rest of the game, that’s great,” said Battle Mountain coach Dave Cope. Drumm played stingy defense, stopping Palisade passes and even flying Palisade bodies. In the second half, after getting hit in the nose going for a head ball, Drumm played with a bloody piece of gauze hanging from his nostril.”It’s easy to see all the skilled forwards we have, but the reason we are able to have our forwards score is that Connor is back there bleeding and sacrificing himself.”
Battle Mountain’s forwards were easy to see, as they had the ball for most of the game. They passed and shot the ball with more consistency than they did against Sand Creek on Thursday.”We finished a lot better this game than last,” said Taylor Bearisto.Early insuranceA few minutes after scoring their first goal, the Huskies added another tally. Gustavo Bronfield rifled a shot that deflected off a Palisade defender and moved to the left of the net. Kyle Moore jumped and punched the ball with his foot while it was still in the air, sending it past a confused Martin. “It was a safety goal,” said Drumm. “You don’t want to relax after scoring it, but it takes a lot of pressure off.”The pressure may have decreased, but the Huskies attack did not. For the rest of the half, Battle Mountain didn’t score, but Isaac Anderson and Tony Seibert each put a shot off the woodwork.At the beginning of the second half, the Huskies struck again when Bronfield put a laser of a shot past Martin.The play started with goalkeeper Josh Ruark launching a pass to Bronfield 15 yards past midfield. Bronfield moved around two defenders on his way to the net and shot from a few yards outside the goal box.
“I was really excited,” Bronfield said. “It was my third goal of the season, and last season. I only had two goals all year.”On the fourth goal, Cole departed from his position of setting up his teammates and scored one himself. He ripped a shot on net, and Martin made a diving save. But Cole followed his rebound to the net unmarked by Palisade defenders, and buried the ball for the goal.Moore added another goal to make it 5-0, and in the dwindling moments of the game, Seibert sent a ball near the Palisade goal, and a Bulldogs defender headed the ball into his own net.Aim to pleaseIf playing goalie against the Huskies isn’t rewarded with soccer’s version of the Congressional Medal of Honor, it should be.The Huskies landed 27 shots on net against Palisade and 38 against Rifle on Tuesday. Not only do the Huskies shoot more than some basketball teams in a game, but they are more accurate than Shaquille O’Neal at the free-throw line. Of the 41 shots the Huskies took on Saturday, 27 landed on net.”They were all good shots,” said Jandreau. “They weren’t just kicking the ball, they were placing the shots. Our goalie did a great job of keeping them from scoring more goals than they did.”On a wide field like the one where they play, the Huskies are able to showcase their talent.
“It’s fun to watch these guys when there is more space,” Cope said. “They are so skillful – the stuff that they were able to do was impressive.”From one-touch passing to dribbling that awed defenders, the Huskies were in late-season form.”There is starting to be cohesion and chemistry,” Cope said. “These are all things that portend positive things for the future.” Defensively, Battle Mountain gave up few scoring opportunities against Palisade. The Bulldogs best chance of the game came when Chad Bauman moved in on backup goalie DJ Van Curen from the left side of the box. Van Curen made a diving save and gobbled up the rebound.”The goal of the game, once we scored our first goal, was to preserve the shutout, which DJ did,” Bearisto said.After four games, the Huskies remain undefeated, but Cope has guarded optimism.”I saw Andre Agassi say before one of his U.S. Open matches, ‘My goals are one inch ahead of myself,'” Cope said. “So we know that next week, Moffat County is going to be a good game.”Sports Writer Ian Cropp can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 608, or firstname.lastname@example.org.Vail Colorado
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