Huskies adjust on fly, push past Devils, 3-1
GYPSUM — It was an evening of good voice and soccer as Battle Mountain got by Eagle Valley, 3-1, at Gypsum’s John Ramunno Field.
Since the public-address system wasn’t working for the national anthem, Devils and Huskies fans alike started singing it with the two teams on the other side of the field taking it up as well.
And since these young ladies clearly have an abundance of talent, they put on a good show on the pitch.
With Battle Mountain having taken the first meeting between the two teams, 5-0, Eagle Valley threw a new look at the Huskies defensively. The Devils forced the Huskies offense to the sidelines, trying to deny the Huskies looks inside as well as access to the end line.
That two of Battle Mountain’s goals came on corner kicks validated Eagle Valley’s strategy. The Huskies are deadly when they cut on the end line, be it in the flow of play or from set pieces.
The first was Mallory Skidmore to A.J. Davies in the 20th. The third tally was Skye Whitney to Abby Carlson for a beautiful header.
“I definitely knew she was going to get it,” Whitney said. “She’s my best friend.”
What’s more the Huskies (8-2 overall and 7-1 in the 4A Slope) adjusted nicely to the Devils’ strategy. If Eagle Valley wanted to take away the outside, then Battle Mountain would go up the gut, and capitalized with an Avery Weaver goal in the 35th minute.
“I thought we were great,” Huskies coach David Cope said. “We played within ourselves. When they focused on wide, we were able to put the ball down the middle with the A.J. to Avery goal.”
Eagle Valley showed absolutely no quit down 3-0. Ginny Osteen threaded a gorgeous pass, springing Jessica Adams for a score.
“I saw the ball coming and I knew I had to put it in. I don’t know. It just happened,” Adams said. “It’s amazing. It’s such an improvement for us. It’s just the beginning. We’re the new Eagle Valley.”
And the Devils weren’t done. Battle Mountain’s Jordan Denning cleared a dangerous ball off the line minutes later. The Huskies keeper Nicole Lasater made fantastic save to quash the Eagle Valley threat.
“I’m definitely over the moon with how they played, just their effort,” Devils coach Maggie Sherman said. “They knew what was coming at them. They stepped up and I couldn’t be more happy with the result.”
Eagle Valley (3-4-1, 2-4-1) hosts Grand Junction on Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. Meanwhile, Battle Mountain gets another crack at league leading Steamboat Springs a week from today in Edwards. The Sailors won the first meeting up north, 5-0.
“I think that was a wakeup call and we’re ready,” Whitney said.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934, firstname.lastname@example.org and @cfreud.