Battle Mountain soccer buries Rifle, 9-0

Huskies at Devils Thursday

Battle Mountain's Kevin Chavez shoots on goal against Rifle Tuesday in Edwards. Chavez had two goals during the Huskies’ 9-0 win over the Bears on Tuesday. (Chris Dillmann

The first rule for boys’ soccer?

No kvetching about the weather. Yeah, it was in the mid-30s and dropping quickly as a snow squall moved in from the north at kickoff of Battle Mountain’s 9-0 win over Rifle Tuesday evening.

“I was cold in warmups,” Bryant Ramirez said. “But I got warm.”

Correct answer, Bryant.

Battle Mountain's Leo Soto tries to get past Rifle defenders Tuesday in Edwards. In addition to scoring a goal, Soto had multiple assists during his team’s 9-0 win over Rifle. (Chris Dillmann

“It’s good. It gives the boys a taste of spring soccer,” said Huskies coach David Cope, who has coached the boys since 1993 and the girls since 2003. “Some of them even had a shovel in their hands. Probably the first time for a lot of them.”

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No whining about the weather because Christina Aiello, Ali O’Neill, Kelsey Sanders, Julia Burnett, Emily Cope, Acacia Ortiz, Logan Nash and Audrey Teague played in this stuff every spring and won titles.

That’s now the gents’ job — to win consecutive league titles in 2015, 2016, 2017 2018, 2019, 2021 and 2021. Yes, that’s going to be strange looking sweatshirt, but the Huskies boys do play two seasons this calendar year.

While the Huskies generally win the league title as a matter of course — five running and the last 10 out of 13 years — it’s more important this spring with only 16 teams making the 4A playoffs and only one spot in the entire state for a wild-card entry. (Lightning is not going to strike twice with the wild card. Huskies hockey used that option and well. Battle Mountain soccer shouldn’t count on it.)

As with any sport, Huskies soccer is emerging from its COVID-19 pause with some rust. The team was stringing together 2-3 passes in phases during the first half, something perfectly wonderful for its second outing since November 2019.

Battle Mountain's Bryant Ramirez shoots and scores against Rifle Tuesday in Edwards for the first of his two goals. (Chris Dillmann

While Battle Mountain thoroughly dominated the possession and was not ever in danger of losing the game, the Huskies need to be cleaner with the ball, especially with the annual trip to Stubler Memorial Field to face Glenwood Springs as well as the home fixture against Steamboat Springs next week. (In fairness, the Huskies essentially played keepaway from the Bears in the second half, so that possession was already improving.)

“We’ve had a really outstanding preseason phase and patterns of play are already beginning to be established,” coach Cope said. “It’s important when we play games lie this to keep our discipline, regardless of the opponent.”

Early and often

Bryant Ramirez scored the first of two on a good overlapping run from Leo Soto. Ramirez took the pass from Soto on the left side and slotted it to the right.

Kevin Chavez took the next two, followed by an absolute smash from the top of the 18 by Soto.

Battle Mountain's Andore Horruitiner, in home black, and Rifle defenders battle it out for the ball Tuesday in Edwards. Horruitiner scored his first varsity goal. (Chirs Dillmann

After Bryant scored again to make it 5-0 in the second half, the newbies came on. Alex Mesa and Andore Hurruitiner scored. (And yes, that’s Bratzo’s Horruitiner’s son.) Josh Keiser (not new) and Miles Jarnot (newer) also scored late.

Battle Mountain is at Eagle Valley on Thursday at 6 p.m.

“I’m so psyched,” Ramirez said. “It’s our biggest rivalry and we’re going down there.”

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