Battle Mountain Huskies boys soccer conquers Eagle Valley Devils, 3-0
GYPSUM — Battle Mountain soccer poured out three years of frustration, beating Eagle Valley soccer, 3-0, in Gypsum on Thursday, Oct. 5, for the first time since 2013.
The Huskies had scored all of one goal during its three previous trips, all losses, to its local rival. Battle Mountain dropped three goals on the Devils during the first half on Thursday.
“It’s excellent,” said Huskies senior Mauricio Castillo, who had his team’s second goal. “This time, it wasn’t heated. We kept our composure. I think that’s what got us over the top. This time, we played at our level.”
“It’s nice for this senior class,” Battle Mountain soccer coach for all seasons, David Cope, said. “I remember after we won (against Eagle Valley) in the spring with the girls, and the girls were celebrating, I remember Juan (Macias) coming up to me and saying, ‘I’ve never won on this field.’ I didn’t believe it when he said it.”
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Not surprisingly, Macias got the Battle Mountain (9-2 overall and 8-0 in the 4A Slope) going with a run down the left side. He got pulled down in the box for the penalty kick, which Jorge Membreno converted.
“We talked about getting an early lead,” Macias said. “From there, we managed the game, got two more goals and passed around the ball and killed the game.”
And this was the key. While Battle Mountain knew it was playing Eagle Valley, it had to approach the game like it was one against Glenwood Springs or Summit County. The issue the three previous editions of Battle Mountain soccer had in Gypsum was getting caught up in the rivalry.
“We talked about it all week — keep our composure and play our game,” Macias said. “We knew if we played our game, we could impose ourselves on them.”
Membreno scored during the 12th minute. Castillo, from Jered Vargas, made it 2-0 in the 28th. Macias polished it off before halftime, smashing in a rebound from a Membreno shot.
“If we get in to physical, emotional back-and-forth contest, that favors them,” Cope said. “If we can just keep the ball, take the crowd out of it, it favors us.”
In fairness to the Huskies partisans, they were numerous and loud. As the whistle blew, Cope took off his hat and thanked the Huskies’ faithful.
Eagle Valley fell to 3-9 and 2-7. One bright spot was the play of goalie Brandon St. Onge, who got the call from JV.
“This game was a great response in comparison to our previous games,” Eagle Valley coach Jere Simms said. “Our defenders were working. Our goalie stepped up to varsity and did one hell of a job. A goal was given off a P.K. The two goals they scored (from the run of play), we weren’t urgent in the middle of the park.”
Eagle Valley hosts Steamboat Springs on Monday, Oct. 9.
Battle Mountain continues its playoff push at Rifle on Tuesday, Oct, 10.
“We are sort of operating without a safety net. There’s not a margin for error between a good season and a disappointing season,” Cope said. “Every team, you want to have a couple things that the last few teams haven’t been able to accomplish.”
And the 2017 Huskies did just that by winning in Gypsum on Thursday.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934, email@example.com and @cfreud.