Huskies at Pine Creek for quarters
EAGLE-VAIL – Welcome to November, Battle Mountain soccer.The Huskies are in the 4A quarterfinals tonight at 7 at District 20 Stadium in Colorado Springs and are playing in the 11th month of the year for the first time in team history.”I was just telling the guys if I knew the weather was this beautiful in November, we would have done this every year,” joked Huskies coach David Cope on a sunny Tuesday afternoon in Eagle-Vail. “We’re out here in shorts and having great time.”Halloween has come and gone. Clocks have been turned back and the Huskies are in the Elite Eight.”It’s fun,” Huskies midfielder Tyler Cole said. “I used to think every time before we lost what it would be like to play after the time changes. Just start practice earlier. I guess that’s the solution.”Right you are, Tyler, the No. 5 Huskies hit the field earlier Tuesday to prepare No. 4 Pine Creek in what should be quite a fight.
“The results are almost identical,” Cope said. “They beat Cheyenne Mountain, 2-1. We beat them 3-1. I think they beat Evergreen, 2-0. We beat them, 5-3. They beat Sand Creek, 3-0. We beat them, 2-0. If you look at that, it’s all in the mix. It’s one of those things where it’s going to be what a four-five matchup should be which is a battle. It will be determined by the little things. The margin of error will be small.”‘That Edgar thing’The Huskies are in the quarters thanks to a 5-3 win over Evergreen and a 3-1 victory against Cheyenne Mountain. Six of Battle Mountain’s eight goals have come from consecutive hat tricks by Edgar Hernandez.While Huskies wouldn’t mind a another trifecta from No. 13, they can’t expect the senior to keep carrying them. Doubtless in the age of the Internet, the Eagles know of him and the season is winding down to the time when defenses stiffen and scoring opportunities get scarce.”I think Tyler will chip in and I think Gustavo (Bronfield) will chip in,” Cope said. “Casey (Kleisinger)’s ready. I’m not really worried about that Edgar thing. Obviously, the other team is going to be scouting him. I feel like even though they do mark up Edgar, if they spend an inordinate amount of time on him, that’s going to open things up for the other people more. I’m pretty confident in our team’s ability to score.”
Bronfield has 12 on the year, while Cole has eight. Kleisinger is a spark off the bench. Jose Pavon scored two against Evergreen and you never know when Kyle Moore is going to pop up from his left-midfielder position.”We’ve got to get (Hernandez) to make some runs and bring some attention to him,” Cole said. “Then, Gustavo’s got to get on it. Kyle, myself and everyone else has to get on it. If he gets shut down, that’s the biggest thing right now.”The EaglesAs Cope noted, the two teams are very similar. Even Cheyenne Mountain coach Scott Johnson whose team has played both the Huskies and Eagle has said such.Like the Huskies, Pine Creek (14-3) features a few top-flight goal scorers and several players who have been involved in the attack. Sam Pinegar comes in with 14 goals and seven helpers. Jeff Wagner has 10 tallies and 7 assists.Ben Schneider figures to be in net. He’s allowed 11 goals in Pine Creek’s 17 games.
“I think at this point we have enough talent that we should be dictating games,” Cope said. “There’s no big tactical adjustments to make. We’re not afraid of anybody in the state. The boys have seen that when they played Overland in the summer, when they played Montrose this summer and during the season and the Cheyenne Mountains and stuff. If we play our game, we’re OK.”That would include a defense of Connor Drumm, Tony Seibert, Taylor Telling and goalie Josh Ruark. They’re full of confidence after a nice bounce-back outing against Cheyenne.”We played really well last game. I felt we were solid and the offense stepped up with Edgar, again. It kind of lifts that pressure off our backs,” Telling said. “We’re all staying tight together. We’re moving the with each other. We’re getting a lot of talk from Josh telling us if we have a man on our back or time. It’s just a lot of communication. We know where everyone is.”District 20 StadiumThe Huskies are quite familiar with the pitch. It’s also Liberty’s home field. Battle Mountain has lost to those Lancers on this pitch in the first and second round of the playoffs the last two years.
That has not been lost on the Huskies.”Not very good memories, but we’re not playing Liberty this time, so we are much more confident,” Cole said. “It’s the last time I’m going to play there in my high school career. It would be great to go out with a win.”Just for kicksGetting there: Once you get to Interstate 25 south, exit on Academy Boulevard (No. 150). Take your first left at the Radisson Inn onto Highway 83. Take the second light and turn right onto Research Parkway. Go 3.7 miles and turn left onto Scarborough Drive. The stadium is on the right. … Battle Mountain was meant to play Thursday, but some coaches didn’t like that if a team played on Wednesday, a team would get an extra day’s rest for the semifinals. Other coaches didn’t like that teams playing Thursday would get an extra day of preparation, so CHSAA moved all the quarterfinal games to today. Montrose takes on Liberty at District 20 Stadium at 4:30 p.m., before the Huskies play. Mountain View’s at Pueblo Centennial at Dutch Clark Stadium at 6 p.m. Broomfield hosts Mullen at 7 p.m. Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 14630 or via firstname.lastname@example.org.Vail, Colorado