Huskies at Golden for Round 2
EAGLE-VAIL ” It’s a Wednesday afternoon in late October and Battle Mountain’s campus is busy.
The volleyball team is in the gym, preparing to host the District 7 Tournament for the third consecutive year. Both the boys’ and girls’ cross country teams are gearing up for another run at state.
And the soccer team keeps practicing. The Huskies are in Round 2 for the fourth-consecutive year, heading to Arvada today to face Golden at the Northern Area Athletic Complex at 5 p.m.
“It’s a special time to be a Battle Mountain athlete,” senior Byron Pottoroff said. “We’re all doing so well. I guess it’s just a good group of athletes coming through the school. It’s phenomenal time.”
While it’s not unusual for the Huskies to be in the Sweet Sixteen, the consistency with which they have made this stage of the postseason is impressive. Since 4A soccer adopted a 32-team state field in 2004, only the Huskies, Golden, Broomfield, Liberty, Mullen and Pueblo Centennial have made the second round each year, which makes for good company. (Liberty won the title in 2004 and 2006, while Broomfield did it in 2005.)
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“We’re proud of that,” said Huskies coach David Cope, who, despite his program’s recent success, has known leaner days. “Again, Battle Mountain advances to that group. That talks to the consistency of the program. We’re proud of how many different guys have contributed.”
“It’s really exciting,” Pottoroff said. “I don’t want to say it’s expected, but we play all year for this. We work hard for it because we want to do just as well as the previous year.”
The Huskies would like to join an even more exclusive club ” making the quarterfinals for a third straight year. To do so, they have to go through an equally-accomplished program.
The Demons made the semifinals last year, and are the defending Jeffco champions. That having been said, Battle Mountain defeated Conifer, last year’s Jeffco champs, 5-4 in the round of the playoffs on the road in 2006.
The Demons are 12-2-1, compared to the Huskies’ record of 13-2-1. Like the Huskies, Golden has played a stiff nonconference schedule with a loss to Wheat Ridge (2-1), a 4-0 blanking of Bear Creek and a 1-1 draw against Lakewood. All are 5A schools.
Golden’s only loss in Jeffco was a 2-1 decision to Conifer, which made the 4A playoffs.
Golden beat Summit, 4-0, in league play and the Huskies have two four-goal wins against the Tigers (5-1 and 6-2).
In addition to Jeffco deja vu, the Huskies will be taking on an accomplished goal-scorer in Cullen Siewart (21). The Huskies are no strangers to this concept having faced Eagle Valley’s Cesar Castillo (26) twice this season. Castillo scored just once on a free kick.
“I think the important thing is no free kicks or restarts in their attacking end of the field,” Cope said. “We also need to make sure we’re not jumping in. You don’t have to win the ball. You just want to make sure the player goes backwards or sideways. That means you’ve done your job.”
Getting the jump
As has been the case all season, the $64,000 question is how will the Huskies start the game? Battle Mountain started well against Summit Tuesday in Round 1 and cruised. When the Huskies come out flat, by and large, they’ve been able to get through it. That’s going to be more difficult this time of year against a quality opponent.
Being on the road might help Battle Mountain.
“It’s just about concentrating before the game, definitely in the warm-ups and competing,” Pottoroff said. “We get a lot of time to be with each other. It definitely builds a little chemistry before the game, being on the bus and eating lunch, just doing things as a team.”
Just for kicks
Only five teams scored six or more goals in Tuesday’s first round ” the Huskies and No. 1 Broomfield, No. 2 Pueblo Centennial, No. 3 Cheyenne Mountain and No. 4 Liberty … Cope is pleased the game is at the NAAC. The Huskies will be playing on a regulation-sized pitch as opposed to a football field ” as in not District 20 Stadium in Colorado Springs.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 748-2934 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you’re going …
Located at 19500 W. 64th Parkway in Arvada. From Kipling north, follow 64th Ave. west to 64th Parkway to Highway 93. The stadium is on the southeast corner of 64th Parkway and Highway 93. Turn east to stadium. Or take Highway 93 north from Golden to 64th Parkway and turn east.