Battle Mountain soccer heading to Round 2 after 5-0 win against Montrose in the snow
Up next: Lewis Palmer on Saturday in Edwards
Battle Mountain looked calm, cool and collected in its playoff opener against Montrose on Thursday night in Edwards, a 5-0 shutout win on an ominous, snowy afternoon that saw both sun and snowy conditions.
“The goal in the first round is always to advance and get everybody in if we can,” coach David Cope said after the game on the way to the Huskies locker room. “That was awesome and it was so great watching that group at the end play.”
All 23 Huskies saw field time on Thursday — valuable playoff minutes that can pay dividends in the years to come, as well during this year’s pursuit of a state championship.
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The game against the Indians on Thursday was delayed due to weather and the balls used on the field alternated between neon orange and neon yellow/green to help with visibility.
The Huskies stayed aggressive from the start, pounding quality attempts on goal while quickly stymieing any offense Montrose tried to muster. Sam Koontz set up Kevin Chavez beautifully for the first Huskies goal 12 minutes into the first half after knocking on the door from the start.
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Battle Mountain continued its dominant ball control as the snow started to fall early in the first half, looking comfortable with every cross, corner and kick toward the goal.
Braulio Aguayo set up Koontz in the middle with 10 minutes left in the first half and Koontz did the rest, putting it past the Montrose goalie and off the left post for a 2-0 Huskies lead heading into the half.
Adriel Encarnacion and the Indians battled offsides calls all game, as well as aggressive Huskies defenders including Joseph Fernandez and company.
Battle Mountain made it 3-0 on a Montrose own-goal 10 minutes into the second half, a play that the Huskies offense put pressure on the Indians leaving them very few ways out of a sticky situation.
Three minutes later, Aguayo set up Kevin Chavez for a goal to make it 4-0, and Miles Jarnot added the fifth and final goal of the game with 18 minutes left.
Huskies goalie Ulises Tellez was stellar in net, making gutsy saves to sustain the shutout. Cruz Ramirez closed out the game in goal for the Huskies and kept the shutout alive with a diving save to his left on a Montrose penalty kick — with little room for error.
The no. 1 seed Huskies, who finished the regular season 10-0 with 55 goals for and 2 goals against, will play Lewis Palmer on Saturday.
“They’re really good,” Cope said. “We just have to rest, recover and go again — that’s all we can do.”
Assistant Editor Ross Leonhart can be reached at 970-748-2984 and firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Instagram at colorado_livin_on_the_hill.