Battle Mountain dominates Rifle for 3rd straight shutout
The score of Saturday’s Battle Mountain-Rifle game went in the books as “Huskies 1, Bears 0.”
Don’t be fooled. It wasn’t even that close. The Huskies completely dominated the flow of play on a very windy day at Freedom Field in Edwards, peppering the net with shots. Only Rifle keeper Kadie LaRocque, who was outstanding in net for the Bears, kept this one close as Battle Mountain upped its 4A Slope record to 3-0.
“I thought their keeper was exceptional,” Huskies coach David Cope said. “It was a tough day to play because of the wind and this is a fast field anyway. With the wind, it plays faster. But, sometimes, and we talked about this on Friday, you just have to grind out a result. I thought the girls showed a lot of character to do that today.”
From Keegan Garnsey clanking one off the post in the early minutes of the first half, it seemed like the Huskies were playing downhill. Garnsey looked like she was going to have a big day with several excellent scoring chances, only to be thwarted by LaRocque.
But, in the end, it was Heidi Lauterbach who finally broke through in the 43rd minute off a nifty pass from Allison Baskins.
“Allison Baskins had the ball and she was just moving it down the side,” Lauterbach said. “She crossed it into the center and I took a couple dribbles and passed it into the net.”
That goal stood as the Huskies logged their third straight shutout. And, this is becoming an emerging theme for Battle Mountain girls soccer this year. The Huskies are exceptionally strong in the middle and the back. This crew was so solid Saturday that Huskies keeper Alexis Guinn rarely saw the ball, though she did come up with a big save late.
Man of the match honors went to fullback Morgan Wallace.
“Like I said, the wind was just ridiculous, but Morgan conquered the wind,” Lauterbach said. “She was always at the ball and just made great passes to people’s feet instead of just booting it.”
“She’s the kind of defender who’s kind of elegant because she doesn’t only break things up, but she starts things,” Cope said. “She starts us going forward and that’s great.”
Cope wasted no time heaping praise on his defense. Christina Harrison, who just four games ago was suiting up for the junior varsity team, has become varsity fixture in back as well as Brittany Peterson, whom Cope describes as “a sharp student of the game.”
And don’t forget your midfielders, Coach.
“In the midfield, part of our defensive block is Christy Madison and Lauren Arnold,” Cope said. “Those two just hold everything together in the middle. We’re really sharp defensively.”
Challenges lie ahead for Battle Mountain. The Huskies have three road games next week – Tuesday at Delta, Thursday at Palisade and Saturday at Glenwood.
“I think we’ve got be like Crash Davis in ‘Bull Durham,'” Cope laughed. “We’ve just got to take it one game at a time and good Lord willing, it will work out.”
And, we’ll finish by saying that Cope’s just happy to be with the ball club, especially after Saturday’s win.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 614, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.