Battle Mountain ties Glenwood, 2-2
Hey, Rifle, you owe Battle Mountain big time.
For the second time in three years, the Huskies girls soccer team has sent Rifle into the playoffs.
Two years ago, then-lowly Battle Mountain upset Palisade, giving Rifle the 4A Slope’s third postseason spot. Saturday, the now high-flying Huskies tied Glenwood Springs, 2-2, eliminating the Demons and putting the Bears in that third spot again.
It wasn’t easy though. The Huskies were down, 2-0, with 11 minutes to play in regulation.
“The Rifle girls were there and they were so bummed,” Huskies coach David Cope said. “When we scored the first goal, they started cheering. When we tied it, they went crazy.”
The first goal that got Rifle cheering came from Lauren Arnold. On the play, Keegan Garnsey made a short corner kick to Heidi Lauterbach. Lauterbach fired it into the mix in the box and Arnold slotted it.
It was Arnold’s first goal of the season, a very deserving accomplishment for the midfielder who has been the glue behind Battle Mountain’s breakout season. It also made Cope look like Nostrdamus.
“I’d been telling her all year that it was going to come,” Cope said. “I told her she wasn’t going to score the sixth goal of a game. She was going to score a big goal.”
Big goal No. 2 came four minutes later when Erika Ghent took a Garnsey smash off the crossbar and put it into the open net.
The bad news for the Huskies is the tie likely has cost the team a shot at the league title. Monday, all Steamboat Springs needs to do to clinch is beat Delta, something as likely, as say, an NHL team coming back from a 3-0 playoff deficit. (Sorry, little digression there.)
There good news is twofold. One, Cope was very pleased with how his club battled back.
“We were behind. We were in a hostile environment,” Cope said. “We talked about not giving up. Being down like that is great training for the playoffs.”
Speaking of those playoffs, after a Tuesday road game at 4 p.m. at Steamboat, the Huskies (9-1-1 in league) will be home for a state-seeding game against Evergreen either Friday or Saturday.