Early tallies, solid defense lift Huskies
Vail, CO Colorado
VAIL ” To borrow a bit of prose from Battle Mountain coach David Cope, a fourth consecutive league title is an accomplishment at any level.
But what follows that league title is pretty important, too.
Battle Mountain soccer, more than a week after clinching the 4A Western Slope crown, had plenty to play for Saturday against Glenwood at the Vail Athletic Field.
“In September, it’s all about quality (wins) in the bank and making sure you have a good enough team,” Cope said. “In October, you need to find out if you have enough character. I think (Saturday), our team showed character.”
The Huskies took a lead in the first minute of the match on a Jair Molina goal, fended off a strong Glenwood attack and added another quick tally to start the second half en route to a 2-0.
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With a few of its starters on the bench, the Huskies used a well-rounded effort to improve to 10-0-1 in league and 11-2-1 overall.
“I thought the kids out there made the most of the chances they were given and showed a lot of grit and heart and that nobody is bigger than the group,” Cope said.
Glenwood pressured the Huskies hard and moved the ball well through midfield and up to its forwards, but couldn’t find the net.
“I thought we won the first half,” Glenwood coach John Mount said. “But I was really proud of our guys. They did sweet against the No. 1 team (in the league) and we showed we could play with them on their turf.”
In the first half, the Glenwood forwards had a bunch of good looks on net, and even got the ball by Battle Mountain keeper Jordy Coffey twice, only to find Battle Mountain defenders in the way. In the 30th minute, Glenwood’s Chris Lloyd broke free behind the Huskies defense and raced to a loose ball as Coffey approached. Lloyd reached the ball just before Coffey, and pushed it forward, only to find Battle Mountain defender Connor Tedstrom come flying in to kick the ball out of bounds.
“I was just trying to stick with the play because you never know if (the forward) is going to make a mistake or anything,” Tedstrom said. “So I just came back and kicked it out.”
Five minutes later, on a Glenwood corner kick, the ball deflected off a Glenwood forward and Coffey was able to get a hand on it, but the ball continued toward the net. Battle Mountain’s Marco Ordono picked the ball out of the air right before it crossed the line and preserved his team’s lead heading into the half.
“It was huge,” Tedstrom said. “They were knocking on the door the whole half. Then, in the second half, we came out first.”
In the 42nd minute, Ricky Luevanos, who didn’t play in the first half, dropped a pass for Davey DeChant just inside the Glenwood box. DeChant then sent a ball sailing over the Glenwood keeper’s head. The goal was almost as quick as the Huskies’ first, which came when Tedstrom send a long through ball that Molina launched by the Glenwood keeper who was off his line.
As the Huskies settled in the second half, and controlled the ball in the middle of the field, Glenwood had fewer looks at the Battle Mountain net.
“I thought we had to make some adjustments because we were getting a little bit stretched in first half, only playing three guys in back,” Cope said. “(The second half control) was due to us keeping the ball longer. Ricky coming in helped that.”
Battle Mountain didn’t sit on its one-goal lead, and continued to push event after tallied a second score.
“The name of our school is Battle Mountain and the emphasis for our team has been, can you scrap when you are up, 1-0, or do the things you need to do when you have the lead? This time of year it’s about getting a lead and holding onto it,” Cope said.
Even with some late Glenwood rushes, the Huskies Coffey stood strong to pick up a well-earned shutout.
“A few games this year we felt like we should have gotten a shutout and we didn’t,” Tedstrom said. “It was good to get one this game.”
“It was particularly import for us to get a shutout because you always are getting watched by other people in the state,” Cope said.
While Coffey had a solid match, Glenwood’s goalie made some key saves in the second half to keep his squad in the game.
“Our goalie made some big saves today and was using his body a lot,” Mount said. “We’re not heads down about this game at all.”
Cope thought his backline led the way for the Huskies.
“Connor Tedstrom was phenomenal,” Cope said. “And his brother Charlie Tedstrom was great next to him. David Gonzalez, Kalen Burnett and Marco Ordono did great, too. We shut out a really good team.”
Thursday, Battle Mountain closes out its league play against Moffat County under the lights at Phelan Field.
Sports Writer Ian Cropp can be reached at 748-2935 or email@example.com.