Battle Mountain soccer begins playoffs with Northfield
Holy playoff-a-palooza, Batman.
Battle Mountain, Eagle Valley and Vail Mountain have three postseason games on tap, and, oh, by the way, two playoff contests are in the books.
Here’s the 411, as the kids say.
No. 9 Battle Mountain soccer (13-1-1) vs. No. 24 Northfield, 6:30 p.m.
The Huskies are home, no surprise, yet still No. 9 is a wee-bit jarring for a team that went 13-1-1. The Huskies’ only loss is to No. 1 D’Evelyn and they beat No. 3 Evergreen. It’s not like Battle Mountain had a poor non-conference schedule.
Anyway, if you’re looking for an upside for a No. 9 seed, well, the last time a Huskies team was No. 9 was in the fall of 2016. The boys’ team beat Fort Morgan senseless, advancing to play No. 8 Silver Creek. The Huskies knocked off Silver Creek and advanced all the way to Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
The winner of today’s Battle Mountain-Northfield game likely is at No. 8 Silver Creek on Saturday. Just saying.
Northfield is a Cinderella team of sorts, playing its first season at the varsity level and still going 12-2-1. The Night Hawks went 8-1-1 in the Denver Prep League.
Freshman Leslie Vasquez (No. 21) should be a marked person with 22 goals. Audrey Schneider had nine goals this year, while Anya Clifford had eight.
Looking at Northfield’s roster, the Night Hawks are a young team, so advantage Huskies with 10 seniors.
Huskies coach David Cope, however, is always the most nervous before the first round of the playoffs because he’s been around the game long enough. If tradition has held, he already has his five players selected if this goes to penalties after overtime.
No. 21 VMS soccer (8-7) at No. 12 Liberty Common, 4 p.m., at Kinard Middle School, 4 p.m.
Vail Mountain School soccer slid into the playoffs by beating the Dawson School in overtime, 3-2, on Saturday.
As such, the Gore Rangers were one of the last teams into the 3A playoffs and not expected to do much. Of course, VMS didn’t read that script last year as a No. 23 seed, beating Salida and Liberty Common to advance to the Elite Eight last spring.
Apparently, CHSAA has a sense of humor because the Gore Rangers are playing Liberty Common again.
The Eagles (12-3) won the Patriot League as they did last year. Liberty Common last allowed a goal in a 5-1 win … against Dawson.
The winner of this game takes on the winner of the Stargate School and Resurrection Christian.
The skies over Kinard Middle School will doubtless be variegated and John Irving’s “The World According to Garp” will be required reading.
No. 12 Battle Mountain (8-7) at No. 5 Green Mountain, Trailblazer Stadium, 5 p.m.
Battle Mountain boys lacrosse has essentially been in playoff mode since the middle of last month, but now it’s officially a tournament.
Battle Mountain was in must-win mode and is riding a four-game winning streak, going into this one.
The Rams have the advantage in common opponents, having beaten both Evergreen and Golden, teams to whom Battle Mountain has both lost. The Huskies and Rams have both pummeled Summit County.
Green Mountain is looking for its first win in the postseason after getting bounced from Round 1 the last two springs.
Air Academy 17, Battle Mountain girls 9
COLORADO SPRINGS — Battle Mountain girls lacrosse did end up making the playoffs after a one-year absence.
The No. 20 Huskies, however, did fall to No. 13 Air Academy, 17-9, during Tuesday’s first-round playoff game.
“It was 8-4 at the half,” Huskies coach Jason Fitzgerald said. “It was very competitive early on. We scored the first goal of the match. It was just one of those great games on both sides that didn’t go our way.”
The good news is that Colorado girls lacrosse is splitting into two classes — 5A and 4A — next spring, something that should help the Huskies (9-7) and the rest of the Western Slope immensely.
Erie 15, Eagle Valley 1
ERIE — The No. 2 ranked Erie Tigers made short work of No. 15 Eagle Valley on Tuesday, winning in the first round of the 4A state playoffs, 15-1.
And while that’s painful, it’s worth noting that Eagle Valley lacrosse’s season ended in the postseason. Prior to this spring, the Devils had only made the tournament once (2013).
The 2019 Devils at 8-7 recorded the most wins in the program’s history — the previous best was six in 2013 — as well as recording the team’s first win over Battle Mountain since 2009.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.