Devils, Huskies battle to 2-2 tie
Eagle Valley girls soccer’s Sam Phillips had the breakaway in the second overtime against Battle Mountain Tuesday afternoon.
And most of the time, that means curtains for the opposition.
But not this time.
Her shot went high over the bar, eliciting groans from the Devils’ bench sighs of relief from the Huskies.
“Yeah, I don’t know what happened,” Phillips said. “I do those in my sleep. It’s just the adrenaline was going. I got too excited.”
That was one of many big moments as the Devils and Huskies exchanged blows in a 2-2 nonconference tie at the Gypsum Sports Complex.
“(Phillips) had played well. It would have been a heartbreaker for us, but she deserved it. She was great today,” Huskies coach David Cope said. “We were sort of thinking maybe the soccer gods stopped the penalty (that Battle Mountain’s Lauren Arnold had with five minutes left in regulation) and the soccer gods decided let’s just have a tie.”
The slightly chilled faithful for both sides saw some good soccer Tuesday, especially considering that it’s only mid-March.
“I’m very encouraged with what we saw,” Devils coach Daiva Katieb said. “The Huskies are a great team, and I think we did a great job coming out with a tie.”
Though Battle Mountain dominated the first 20 minutes of play, Phillips broke the seal with a breakaway and beat Huskies goalie Alexis Guinn to her right side.
Keegan Garnsey then took over for Battle Mountain in the second half. Converted from the backline to striker, the senior looked very comfortable, starting the half with the Huskies first goal of the season. Later in the half, Garnsey put the Huskies up, 2-1, with a gorgeous left-footer from 30 yards that clipped the left panel.
“Keegan Garnsey goes to (watch the World Cup Finals in) Italy which, with all due respect to (Vail Mountain soccer coach) Bob Bandoni, is the land foreign strikers and defensive players. And somehow, she comes out of that experience and scores two goals,” Cope joked. “So, she survived her trip to Italy without becoming Catennaccio defender.”
While Bandoni may have a a thing or two to say about English soccer – stay tuned- there was plenty more action in the second half. Eagle Valley’s Jessica Jagger drilled a free kick from 40 yards out to tie the game.
With five minutes left, the Huskies drew a penalty in the Eagle Valley box. Arnold, who had made a brilliant defensive play sweeping a Devils’ shot off the line in front of an open net, got the call. But, Devils goalie Tanaee Mickley smothered the shot to preserve the tie.
“Huge,” Katieb said. “She couldn’t have done any better today. The goals that they did put past us were fantastic shots.”
The Huskies had the majority of the scoring chances in the extra frames, including three consecutive corner kicks to end the first five-minute session.
“If there was anything disappointing today, it was our ability to create chances off of corner kicks. We didn’t do anything,” Cope said. “We had a lot of corners. I counted 12. Perhaps, we can work on that and convert some of those into goals.”
That will be the goal Saturday at 11 a.m. when the Huskies (0-2-1) host Glenwood at Freedom Field in Edwards. Meanwhile, Eagle Valley (1-0-1) hosts Roaring Fork March 30.
VMS falls at Basalt
It’s officially soccer season at Vail Mountain School.
VMS coach Bob Bandoni started his postgame talk after a 4-0 loss at Basalt with the time-tested Bandoni-ism, “It is what it is.”
Cost of a soccer ball: $40. Cost of cleats: $80. Bandoni-isms? Priceless.
“We played Kent on Saturday in a nonleague game and they beat us, 2-0,” Bandoni said. “Even though we had more goals scored against us, I think we actually improved from our last game in terms of possessing the ball.”
The Gore Rangers were only down, 1-0, at halftime, but just couldn’t muster any offense. Bandoni did give kudos to the play of Lindsay Wright, Courtney Robinson and Z Warren as well as some of the younger players on the team.
VMS (0-2) hosts Aspen at Freedom Field in Edwards on Saturday at 3 p.m.