Distractions behind them, Huskies host Canon City | VailDaily.com

Distractions behind them, Huskies host Canon City

EAGLE-VAIL – After a tumultuous week, the Battle Mountain soccer team knows it will be without its head coach David Cope, who is sitting out a one-game suspension for violating a CHSAA bylaw last weekend at Glenwood.

OK, that’s said and done. No more distractions. It’s time to play soccer.

The Huskies, under the very capable hands of Charry Morris, host Canon City today at 2:30 p.m., in a state-seeding game in Eagle-Vail. The Huskies will be bidding to make the 4A state playoffs for the second time in as many years.

“Charry’s going to be there and she knows what to do,” senior Taylor Roach said. “She’s a good coach. She played at the pro level for many years. She knows a lot about the game. We’re not feeling bad at all about Saturday.”

Expect no changes in the style of Battle Mountain’s play.

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“We obviously have a gameplan and we just hope to get through this next game and hope to have Cope on the bench for the next game,” Morris said. “I think they can go out and they prove that they deserve to be in the state playoffs and play well and show what Cope’s given to them through this whole year.”

Canon City finished third in the South Central Conference with a 10-4 league mark and a 10-5 record overall. Josh Curliss (13 goals and nine assists), Patrick Reppert (12 goals and six assists) and Bryce Hofmann (seven of each) lead the Tigers’ attack. Look for Jason Sand to get the start in net for Canon City.

This is the second-straight time Battle Mountain has faced the No. 3-seed from the South Central. Last year, The Huskies advanced to state via a 1-0 win at Alamosa.

This year, the Huskies have the luxury of playing at home, their first postseason home game in many a year.

“I’m very excited. We’re just going to come out here and play,” Julio Garcia said. “It’s a big game for all of us. It’s an advantage to be playing at home. It’s our field and we haven’t lost here. It’s big.”

Very good point, Julio. The Huskies are undefeated on their full-sized pitch, the site of today’s game. Battle Mountain’s lone home loss – to league-champion Rifle – came on the narrower Huskies Stadium.

And the Huskies want to see a big crowd today.

“Fill that hill over there and we’re set,” Roach said, pointing to the sideline where the Huskies’ faithful usually stands.

Battle Mountain, 8-4 in the 4A Slope and 9-6 overall, enters today’s game on a roll. The Huskies have won three straight, including a huge win over Steamboat Springs last week. The key for today is to keep playing the way they have down the stretch.

“We need to focus on speed of play,” Huskies junior Andy Banner said. “I think we have to play fast and aggressively. If we can do that, we can be in pretty good shape.”

Chris Freud is the sports editor for the Vail Daily. He can be reached at (970) 949-0555, ext. 614 or via cfreud@vaildaily.com.

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