Huskies and Summit meet again
EAGLE-VAIL ” And now for a moment of selective memory.
Battle Mountain soccer would like to forget all about its 5-1 win against Summit County in this year’s season opener, at least if Huskies coach David Cope has his say.
“Our game at the beginning of the season was more of an aberration than a trend,” Cope said.
This is particularly important when the Huskies host Summit County today at 3 p.m. at Freedom Park in Edwards in a rare first-round state playoff rematch of their regular-season game.
Cope would rather have his charges thinking about Battle Mountain-Summit games from 2004-06, when all three contests went into overtime.
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– In 2004, the Huskies’ Andy Banner scored in overtime, lifting Battle Mountain in the snow to a 2-1 win.
– The next year, Battle Mountain went into a game at Summit at 14-0. The Tigers, who were out of playoff contention, shocked the Huskies, 3-2.
– In 2006, the two teams opened in Eagle-Vail and played to a 2-2 tie.
“I think the thing we tried to stress with our guys is that three out of the last four games have gone into overtime, including when we were 14-0 and they were (5-8-1),” Cope said. “Throw the records out the window. It’s going to be a battle. They’re going to be motivated and excited.”
A lot of soccer has been played since the two teams met in Farmer’s Korner. Tigers’ season can essentially be divided into two halves. The Tigers opened the season 1-5-2, including an 0-1-1 start to Jeffco play.
Summit (7-7-1) promptly finished the conference slate with five straight wins against Elizabeth, Englewood, Jefferson, Alameda and Ralston Valley before ending the season with a 3-1 loss at Vail Mountain.
“We’ve just got to come out like its a totally-different team,” Huskies senior Charlie Tedstrom said. “They’ve won five out of six. They’re on a roll. They’re riding high. We’ve just got to come out and play like we can play.”
Battle Mountain started the season like a house on fire with the 5-1 win at Summit. The Huskies followed with 5-0 blanking of Steamboat Springs, whom the Tigers also beat 2-1. But the Huskies have struggled a bit with consistency despite a 12-2-1 record this year.
“Certainly, we need to get back on the goal-scoring brigade we were on during the early season,” Cope said. “That will be a focus.”
Battle Mountain wants to jump on Summit early. In a rematch, the last thing the favored team wants to do is let the underdog hang around in a game.
“We’ve come through a lot of adversity this year, so we’re a different team,” Connor Tedstrom said. “They’ve probably improved too. So we’ve just got to come out and play Battle Mountain soccer.”
That means dictating the tempo from the start. Though Jair Molina leads the team in scoring, the Huskies don’t have a “go-to” goal-scorer, like a Banner or Edgar Hernandez, who scored seeming every clutch goal in recent team history.
Cope thinks a goal can come from anywhere, including the bench.
“The guys coming off the bench have to contribute,” he said. “In the last game (against Moffat), Uvaldo came off the bench. Cisco (Villas) can come off the bench. Jose (Llerena), Kalen (Burnett), we have lots of guys who can come off and create.”
Just for kicks
If Battle Mountain advances, it will play the winner of Golden-Skyline. Yes, Golden again. The Huskies girls’ soccer team has met up with Golden twice in the last four years in the playoffs. “I went and watched Julia (Burnett) play with the CU team this weekend and I was having Golden flashbacks,” Cope joked. … Battle Mountain has won its first-round game three years in a row. … Battle Mountain had a team meeting instead of workout Monday.