Battle Mountain soccer whistles past the graveyard
RIFLE – A road game at Rifle has been a graveyard for Battle Mountain soccer.The field is narrow. It’s bumpy. Bad breaks abound. “At Rifle” on the Huskies’ schedule is a loss. Even last year’s 14-3 league-champion team suffered its lone 4A Slope loss at Rifle.Not this time. Huskies soccer not only won at Rifle, but it crushed the Bears, 5-0, Thursday.”That sends everybody a message, we hope,” Huskies coach David Cope said. “That was an emphatic victory. No one was expecting a shutout because the field is such a different environment. It’s a cage match. You get scores of 4-3 and 5-2. The shutout became the goal as the game went on.”And the Huskies defense and goaltending got it. It’s the second consecutive shutout for Battle Mountain after last week when the team allowed six goals in three games.’The Spark’Casey Kleisinger is certainly enjoying his new surroundings. He scored his fourth goal in three games when Tyler Cole found Kleisinger, aka The Spark for his off-the-bench heroics, and the Huskies were up 1-0 in the 24th minute.Kyle Moore then nutmeged his defender and got it to Gustavo Bronfield. He then sent it to Cole for the score.”Everybody realized the next goal was important,” Cope said. “It would either be a crisis or nails in the coffin.”The Huskies brought their hammers. Bronfield had a magnificent overhead flick to Cole who crushed it from the top of the box for a 3-0 lead.Tuesday was yet another big game for Cole. Cope challenged Cole at the beginning of the season to be more productive offensively and the senior has definitely delivered.”He’s living up to it with assists and goals,” Cope said. “He’s conducting the orchestra in the middle, pulling the strings and distributing the ball. Then, he’s also getting upfield to be a factor on offense. He’s contributing offense a la Paul Scholes of Manchester United.”And anytime Cope invokes Man. U., that’s a high compliment.In the 51st, Edgar Hernandez to Joel Gonzales made it 4-0. Senior Eric Sandoval got his first goal on a pass from Nick Franco to wrap the scoring.Huskies soccer is 10-0 overall and 8-0 in the Slope. Battle Mountain has clinched a playoff spot, but has loftier goals – repeating as Slope champs and a 15-0 regular season mark.After a five-game road trip, the Huskies will have a novelty known as a home game. Battle Mountain hosts archrival, Steamboat Springs, Saturday at 11 a.m. Sports editor Chris Freud can be reached at 949-0555 or via email@example.com.
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