Holy cow: Battle Mountain soccer swamps Steamboat Springs, 7-2
Congratulations to golfers Jack Oberly, of Battle Mountain, and Vail Christian’s Nik Futernick and Connor Downey for qualifying for their respective state tournaments. Please check out Thursday, Sept. 20’s edition of the Vail Daily for coverage.
EDWARDS — It’s not a surprise that Battle Mountain soccer beat Steamboat Springs, but the margin and the method on Tuesday, Sept. 18, were.
The Huskies built a 4-0 lead on their way to a resounding 7-2 victory.
“We got matched up with an opponent that had just a fantastic first half, good second half as well, but they had a fantastic first half,” Steamboat Springs coach Rob Bohlmann said simply.
With the win, the Huskies (7-1 overall, 5-0 in the 4A Slope) take the inside track in the chase for the league title. But — and it’s a big but — there is a lot of soccer to play, including a rematch of these two teams up at Gardner Field on Oct. 18, the final day of the regular season.
“I think we came out like gangbusters in the first half,” Huskies coach David Cope said. “I just think we were superb. The goals we scored were such high quality. I thought our defensive intensity was superb.”
Both longtime rivals have posted impressive nonconference wins — Steamboat against Centaurus and Battle Mountain against The Classical Academy — a factor that added some luster to this latest meeting.
But Battle Mountain quickly drained the drama of Tuesday’s game. The Huskies’ Antonio Jimenez slipped a slick pass through Steamboat’s back line to Dani Barajas and the way the junior’s going of late, he wasn’t going to miss.
Barajas had two goals and two assists against the Sailors, continuing his torrid start to 2018.
“He’s so passionate and hungry, he wants more,” Cope said of the junior. “He’s not satisfied. He’s pissed off at me for taking him off. That’s what you want.”
Drew Keiser made it 2-0 in the 19th minute. Louis Castillo sprang Barajas three minutes later and Dutch Schroeder ended the first-half onslaught in the 39th.
“You come in at halftime and the whole thing is not to let down, and, obviously, that half-time talk worked like a charm,” Cope joked.
That’s because Murphy Bohlmann came out and put Steamboat (5-1, 4-1) on the board. The Huskies’ Castillo to Jimenez as well as a Jared Vargas goal in the span of three minutes quashed any hopes of a Sailors’ comeback.
Battle Mountain had six different goal scorers, including Karsen Williams late, but getting Vargas going was a priority for the Huskies. It’s not like he’s lacked the chances.
“It’s pretty nice. I’ve been waiting for this goal for a while,” Vargas said. “Eagle Valley, I missed like five shots in front of the goal. Ever since, I’ve been close. TCA, I hit a cross bar. Today, I finally put it behind the net.”
Both teams face challenges in bouncing back from Tuesday’s game. Steamboat needs to regroup.
“Now it’s keeping everything positive,” Rob Bohlmann said. “It’s resiliency. It’s about a quick recovery because we’ve got Summit on Thursday. Physically, you’re beat up. Mentally, you’re beat up. The boys are going to be resilient.”
While Steamboat is at Summit County on Thursday, Sept. 20, the Huskies host Glenwood Springs.
Having beaten both TCA and the Sailors during the last week, the Huskies are an understandably confident team.
“I think we know after playing (The Classical Academy) that we can hang with the better teams in the state,” Schroeder said.
Yet, Battle Mountain knows that there are a lot of games remaining, including the rematch at Steamboat Springs.
“We’re in a good place right now, but obviously, you want to be winning big games when there’s snow on the ground,” Cope said. “We went up there last year and got it handed to us (a 4-1 Steamboat victory). So we don’t have so much hubris that we’re going to go up there and be surprised. When we go up there, it will be a battle.”