Battle Mountain soccer (8-0) rolls past Steamboat
Huskies off to best start since ... 2012
EDWARDS — Slow start or a patient one? How about languid?
Battle Mountain soccer overcame either a slow first half or patient one, leading Steamboat Springs just 1-0 at the half on Tuesday night before a second-half barrage led the Huskies to a 5-0 rout of the Sailors.
Classifying the type of start an 8-0 team has is one of those privileges an 8-0 team may have, but the Huskies are getting into heady territory.
Eight straight wins to start a season is the team’s best start since … well, the magical year of 20-0 and a state title in 2012.
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“We all just needed to calm down and play our game,” said the Huskies’ Louis Castillo, who had Battle Mountain’s first-half tally.. “We have to be calm and simple and be there for each other. That’s how we got here.”
“I think it was patience,” Huskies coach David Cope said. “The boys showed patience and Steamboat had a game plan to keep spaces crowded, to sit back. We had so much of the ball. There wasn’t any worry. There were times I thought we could have played faster. We were languid, ohh, good word. In the second half, we accelerated the play.”
As Cope rightly noted, the visiting Sailors packed it in defensively to clog passing lanes. As the season progresses, teams will probably show different defensive looks to try to slow down the Huskies offensively. Goals will be harder to earn.
And, yes, Steamboat (1-4) is struggling a bit this year, but, in the end, it was a convincing 3-point night.
Battle Mountain returned home from a three-game road swing, capped by last Thursday’s big 2-0 win at The Classical Academy. That vaulted the Huskies into the No. 1 position in the rating-percentage index for the first time at this point in the season since the infernal calculation began in 2016.
Cope believed that the Huskies will drop out of the No. 1 spot after Tuesday’s game because everything is in motion throughout the state. That said, he’s OK with his team doing a little RPI watching.
“We’re in the mix,” he said. “For this group, there is a lot of motivation from the playoff loss and there’s a belief from last year that we were among the top teams. Every time out, we’re trying to prove that. The boys enjoy that and I think it’s fine to be looking at that. The challenge for the next month is can we hold our standards high through the rest of league play?”
Battle Mountain had the ball for most of the first half. The Huskies, with the exception of Castillo, just couldn’t pot more than one.
That Steamboat stymied the Huskies as long as it did was something that made Sailors coach Rob Bohlmann happy.
“Most important for our group, we wanted to come in organized and with a plan to where win, lose or draw, we walked away feeling success, and that’s how our group feels,” said Bohlmann whose team hosts Summit County on Thursday.
Kevin Chavez, who assisted on Castillo’s goal in the first half, got the Huskies going in the second half. Chavez’s shot caromed off the crossbar and Trevino Twiss hopped on the rebound for a 2-0 lead.
Dani Barajas and Wyatt Hall then struck on laser finishes. Seeing Barajas out and about gladdened Huskies fans. The senior has been dealing with a left-ankle injury of late.
Joey Leonardo capped it for Battle Mountain.
On to Glenwood Springs
The Huskies will practice today on the baseball diamond, which means that it is about time for the squad’s annual trip to Glenwood Springs, where there will be no nice turf and, generally, no nice anything.
“We need the challenge,” Cope said. “It’s good for us to go into that atmosphere. TCA was a narrow field, not the greatest surface, hostile crowd and we’ll see all that on Thursday. This group needs that. We’re going to change the way we play. We’ll be a little different.”
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Jeff Shiffrin, with his wife, Eileen, made the Vail area their home decades ago, and together raised Mikaela and Taylor Shiffrin, who was a member of the two-time NCAA Champion University of Denver Ski Team.