Huskies blank Eagle Valley, 3-0
EAGLE-VAIL – Battle Mountain girls soccer just needed a little patience Tuesday against Eagle Valley in the Slope opener for both teams.The Huskies dominated all day, but it wasn’t until the 39th minute that Battle Mountain’s Emily Baskins finally broke through. Add two quickies early in the second half and the Huskies cruised to a 3-0 win.”The important thing for the girls, even though it took a while for the goal to come, was to be patient and just keep doing the same things,” Battle Mountain coach David Cope said. “We said at halftime, ‘If it was easy, it would be called snowboarding.’ It was just persistence.”Snowboarding jokes aside, the Huskies had their hands full with the Devils, who were playing their first game at the 4A level. While Battle Mountain (1-0 in the Slope and 2-0 overall) seemed to be running downhill all day, Eagle Valley’s defense stood firm. Devils’ defenders constantly threw themselves in front of incoming shots and Eagle Valley goalie Mary Cochrane stood tall when the shots came to her.”We’ve got a few things we need to work on,” Eagle Valley coach T.J. Hay said. “This is the first time we’ve been on a full field, first time on the turf. Battle Mountain played a great game. The girls played great. Take away a couple of minutes from that game and we’re right in there.”
Key minutesUnfortunately for Eagle Valley, the last minute of the first half and the first five of the second did in the Devils. In the waning moments of the first half, Battle Mountain’s Allison O’Neill crossed it from the right side to Baskins who buried her finish.”I couldn’t have done it without Allison’s wonderful assist,” Baskins said. “But, it felt really good to get my first goal this season. Allison had a great touch from the 18. We were all struggling for a while. We couldn’t finish our touches, finish our shots. I think once we got one, we knew we could get it.”Despite the intermission, Battle Mountain was rolling. Cochrane blocked a shot from Stephany Walker in the 42nd minute. But in her only blemish of an otherwise splendid day, she knocked the ball straight to Liz Gladitsch who put it in the onion bag for a 2-0 lead.A minute later, Morgan Wallace fed O’Neill for her second goal of the season. For those of you playing the home edition, the Huskies have had four goal scorers in their first two games.
“That’s a really encouraging thing,” said Cope, who was worried about his team’s ability to finish before the season began. “We might not have a 20-goal scorer, but if we have five eight-goal scorers, we’ll be in really good shape.”Next upEagle Valley (0-1) hosts Aspen Saturday at 11 a.m. at the Eagle County Fairgrounds. Meanwhile Thursday at 3 p.m., Steamboat Springs comes to Edwards for an early season showdown in the Slope.Rob Bohlmann’s Sailors are the two-time defending champs, rolling to a 24-0 mark in the process. Steamboat Springs handed Battle Mountain both of its league losses last season.Simply put, as is the case with the boys’ team in the fall, Steamboat is the measuring stick.
“It’s early in the season, so it’s not going to sink anybody’s ship,” Cope said. “Having said that, it’s huge game. Now, we’ve each won a league game, so we come into it as the two-top teams in the league, which I hope and expect that will be somewhere about that at the end of the season. They were 3-1 against their local rival, Moffat. We were 3-0 against our local rival, Eagle Valley. So, there’s a lot of similarities.”Just for kicksGionbottiglio (player of the match) went to Baskins, while Gladitsch got The Bag for her defensive prowess. … Mixed loyalties? Eagle Valley principal Mark Strakbein previously held the same position at Battle Mountain. There was no question for whom he was rooting Tuesday. He was all red and black. … Hey, grill guys, where were you? Cope and the team expect you to be on hand with the grill for Steamboat Thursday.Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 614 or email@example.com.Vail, Colorado