Devils take Huskies in preseason match
EAGLE<Eagle Valley proved that maybe, just maybe, the grass is greener on the other side of the valley. The Devils, who have had the luxury of practicing outdoors the last week, used their advantage to down Battle Mountain 5-0 Tuesday in a preseason friendly between county rivals.Contrarily this season, the Huskies have been forced to practice in the gym. It1s no secret the ball bounces different on the late-winter field.3A difference in the game is we1ve practiced outdoors six or seven times, Eagle Valley coach Robert Graham said. 3I would expect that on another day late in the season, playing Battle Mountain again will be a different story.Battle Mountain will get that chance April 19, when the two teams match up again.3One of the things we1ve been able to do in the gym is work intensely on our fitness levels, Huskies coach Kate Steffens said. 3The girls stepped right into that.Sophomore Samantha Phillips led the Devils, scoring two goals from her striker position. Brooke Baughfman, captain Lyndsay Beasley and junior Kathryn Brock picked up goals as well. Junior goalie Jamie Woodworth pitched the shutout.3I was very happy we got the shutout, said Graham, whose team lost in the first round of the 3A state tournament last year. 3Winning against Battle Mountain always means something for the boys and the girls. It doesn1t make any difference.Next up for the Huskies is the season1s first road trip to Buena Vista Thursday. The junior varsity will play right after the varsity game, which is scheduled for 3 p.m.3Right now, we1re looking to keep up the possession game, Steffens said. 3We want the girls to be more comfortable with the ball. I think that the level that they can be playing at has to be raised just a little bit.The Devils, meanwhile, have their eyes on the conference championship which should be no small task, Graham said. The team set goals to eclipse last year1s state performance and win the Western Slope.3To win conference, I think, will be a really, really difficult task, Graham said. 3To win the conference will really mean something.Eagle Valley will host Buena Vista April 2 for its next contest. The game is scheduled to start at 4 p.m. at the Eagle County Fairgrounds.