Classical Academy tops Huskies soccer, 2-1
EDWARDS — It’s been a humbling week for Battle Mountain soccer.
The Huskies entered as the No. 3-ranked team in the state and promptly took two losses, first at Glenwood Springs, 4-2, on Thursday, and then Friday night by a count of 2-1 against No. 2-ranked The Classical Academy in Edwards.
“I think it was definitely good to have someone bring the game to us for a change,” said Huskies goalie Jack Skidmore, who was simply tremendous for Battle Mountain on Friday. “We’re going to try to move forward with that. The last 40 minutes, we outplayed them. We showed we can hang with them. That will stay with us.”
TCA certainly looked like the No. 2 team in the state, particularly during the first half, dominating the possession, much like the Huskies usually do against other opponents.
“That is very much our style,” Titans coach Blake Galvin said. “That is how we like to play. We did a great job possessing the ball and doing what we needed to do, and just having a lot of fun with it. That may have thrown Battle Mountain off a little bit.”
It did. Huskies coach David Cope said that he might have expected the physical results of two games in two days to manifest themselves in the second half of Friday’s game, but he was surprised to see his team show some mental after-effects of Thursday’s loss during the first half.
“I think one of the things that was good about the first half is that we weathered the storm a bit,” Cope said. “We didn’t capitulate.”
The Titans dominated the first half and sophomore forward Titus Grant was the beneficiary of the possession with both of his squad’s goals. The first goal came in the 16th minute from teammate Anders Carlson; the second in the 24th from Jeremy Baldes.
“We just had lots of chances,” Grant said. “We are a very quick team. We can transition fast. Once we get in front of the goal we can finish.”
And that left Huskies grasping for answers in the locker room during intermission.
“The main thing at halftime was to cheer up,” Cope said. “We didn’t look like we were happy. We didn’t look like we were enjoying it. … No one feels sorry for you. You get to play on a beautiful field on a beautiful night in front of your friends and families. No one’s feeling sorry for you.”
The Huskies showed a bit more spark, and then an Andrew Herrera goal during the 62nd minute made it a game. Battle Mountain looked much more like itself during the final 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, at the other end of the pitch, Skidmore, who had kept the Huskies within striking distance during the first half, put on a show.
With Battle Mountain throwing everyone forward in search of the equalizer, Skidmore had to stand on his head on three breakaways.
So what was going on in your mind in those 1-on-1 situations, Jack?
“Probably words you’re not allowed to write in the paper,” he joked.
On a serious note, Skidmore said, “I’m just waiting for the opportunity and slowly closing in on him. The closer I get, the smaller the goal gets for him. You don’t get to think about it.”
TCA heads to Summit County today, and the Tigers were sitting in the grandstands scouting. Meanwhile, Battle Mountain (2-2) needs to end its first losing streak since 2008.
“I think that’s a very good team and we were competitive with them,” Cope said. “There should be some motivation to take forward from there. We have to realize you can’t just go out and dominate every game. There are going to be games when you’re being dominated, but you hang in there, and you can still win the game. For the next few days, the focus has to go back on the league.”
And the Huskies will try to do that when they host Eagle Valley on Thursday at 6 p.m.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934, firstname.lastname@example.org and @cfreud.