Battle Mountain soccer stuns Demons late
GLENWOOD SPRINGS – Nick Vossler was Battle Mountain’s goalkeeper at the start of the season. On Thursday, the senior came through at a different position.
Coming off the bench to play forward, Vossler scored a 77th-minute goal that lifted the Huskies to a 2-1 win at Glenwood Springs Thursday.
Vossler stalked the ball amid a chaotic scene inside the box, watching as teammate Diego Rodriguez smacked a shot off the crossbar. Eventually, the ball made its way to Vossler, who took advantage by drilling the game-winner.
“I was really off balance,” he said. “I just got a piece of it.”
A wild celebration ensued, with the hero finding himself at the bottom of a celebratory dogpile, a show of emotion that led to a yellow card.
“But it was a team yellow,” said a grinning Vossler.
“That’s what high school sports are all about,” Battle Mountain coach David Cope said. “I’m really happy for Nick.”
Vossler had to miss a series of games for disciplinary reasons and Thursday was his first game back in action. Christian Espinoza took over at keeper in Vossler’s stead and performed too well to remove from the position.
“We said, ‘Nick, we can’t take him out because he’s been playing so well, but we’re going to give you the chance to score the game-winning goal against Glenwood,'” Cope said. “We literally said those words. Then he went and did it.”
The same two teams played to a 1-all draw in Edwards last Thursday, and they appeared headed to a similar fate this time around.
Glenwood struck first, using teamwork to take a 1-0 lead in the 10th minute.
Nate Kaup lofted a long free kick from just inside the sideline to just inside the far post, where Mike McGraw lurked and converted an easy look. He then sought out Kaup for a hug in front of a raucous homecoming crowd.
After a halftime talk from Chris Shea, who had been knocked of the game by a concussion in in the early goeing, Rodriguez and Joe LyBarger teamed up to produce the equalizer for Battle Mountain in the 47th minute. Rodriguez softly lined a pass LyBarger’s way and, positioned in the left flat, the latter sent a mid-range shot past the reach of Demons goalkeeper Caine Albrecht.
Albrecht, who racked up a number of sprawling saves under the lights at Stubler Memorial Field, turned in the stop of the night in the 60th minute. Like a baseball outfielder laying out for a fly ball in the gap, Albrecht dove to haul in a sharply struck liner off the foot of the Huskies’ Heivan Garcia.
Roughly two minutes earlier, it was Espinoza diffusing a Glenwood threat, charging up in the box to thwart a point-blank opportunity for Kevin Hartmann. A Hunter Brown cross created the 58th-minute opportunity.
Glenwood (4-3-2 overall, 1-3-1 in the 4A Western Slope League) hosts Moffat County at 1 p.m. on Saturday. Battle Mountain (5-1-2, 4-1-1) will be on its home turf for a meeting with No. 5 Cheyenne Mountain at 7 p.m. tonight.