Battle Mountain defeats Devils, 6-1
EDWARDS — It’s just one.
That’s always important to remember after Thursday night’s season opener in which Battle Mountain took down cross-county rival Eagle Valley, 6-1, in Edwards.
For the victorious Huskies, it’s off to Steamboat Springs on Saturday for an early season showdown with the Sailors as Battle Mountain attempts to defend its 4A Slope crown. For the Devils, it’s the beginning of a building process.
“Good start,” Huskies coach David Cope said. “Lots of kids scored. Good to welcome Logan (Nash) back. It was a shame not to hold the shutout. It was pretty solid.”
Despite the result, first-year Eagle Valley coach Stephen Baxter is optimistic about the season ahead.
“We had a challenging game,” Baxter said. “Season opener was Battle Mountain. It’s very difficult. (Battle Mountain) is excellent. They’re in excellent shape. They play well as a team. But we came out strong. We have some things to work on. We’re going to take that back home and tailor that for the next time we face them.”
Huskies junior Molly Phannenstiel tore down the wall on the season’s scoring during the seventh minute, jumping on a rebound from Nash’s shot.
Back In Action
For Nash, it was particularly gratifying to be back in the action after missing all of last season with a torn ACL.
“It was really hard watching the whole season,” Nash said. “But now that I get to play it feels good to be back. I had another surgery six weeks ago, but it feels good as new.”
Goal No. 2 was a thing of beauty, especially coming in the season opener. Bridgett Courtois made a brilliant run down the right side, feeding the ball to Morgan Croke. Two things made this goal significant. Courtois continued her overlapping run down the right side. Courtois had the outside option, but wisely took the shot.
Her shot was a rocket.
“Bridgett on the overlap, that’s kind of signature Battle Mountain stuff right there,” Cope said. “That’s what we’re trying to do. If we can establish patterns of play early, that’s going to help us.”
The Huskies iced the game with a Melissa Lopez goal in the 58th minute, Nash in the 67th and Phannenstiel in the 70th.
Mariel Gutierrez got the Devils on the board for the first time in 2014 in the 72nd. Acacia Ortiz finished out the scoring late for the Huskies.
Despite six goals against, Eagle Valley keeper Lauren Thorpe got lots of plaudits and hugs from the Huskies for her play between the pipes. She was clearly the Person of the Match for the Devils.
Battle Mountain and Eagle Valley will play again on April 1 down in Gypsum. Both are in the Western Slope’s East Division with Summit County and, of course, Steamboat.
The Huskies will be going up north on Saturday for the first of two with the Sailors. Both results last year were draws with Battle Mountain winning the division on a tiebreaker.
“It’s exciting,” Cope said. “There’ll be a heightened sense of awareness and sharpness for the Steamboat game. I think it’s been exciting because it’s been something to really look forward to during the preseason.”
Eagle Valley has its home opener on Saturday at Hot Stuff against Summit County at 11 a.m.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 and firstname.lastname@example.org.