Huskies blank Eagle Valley
GYPSUM – This really isn’t a two-person show.Battle Mountain girls’ soccer’s Julia Burnett and Kelsey Sanders had 58 goals combined last season, and through Tuesday’s game against Eagle Valley, had piled on 11 more this season. But there are a bunch of other really good players on the field as well.As if to hammer home that point, the Huskies had six different goal scorers find the back of the net in a 7-0 win over the Devils at the Gypsum Town Field.”That’s a great sign,” Huskies coach David Cope said. “As we go into the next match against Steamboat, there’s a tendency for players, if you have just one or two scorers, to say, ‘If they don’t score, we’re in trouble.’ Now we can go into that game with some confidence. If we win 1-0, the goal may come from anybody. If Jules and Kelsey draw a lot of attention, that’s a good thing too. That’ll free up other players.””It’s really good,” Battle Mountain’s Jen Bowles said. “It just shows that we have an awesome team all around.”Bowles should know. She had the Huskies’ first tally, part of a three-goal binge in the opening seven minutes of the game that helped move the Huskies to 3-0.
Don’t be lateThe Huskies salted this one early, assuaging any concerns Cope might have had about his team playing its first road game of the year.”Anytime you go on the road, you wonder if the girls are focused,” he said. “Everything we do is prepared toward trying to have an explosive start. That was about as explosive as it gets.”After Bowles ripped the twine two minutes in, freshman Marisa Ammaturo struck with her first varsity goal at the four-minute mark.”It was really exciting. I didn’t think it was going to go in,” Ammaturo said. “I just ran into the middle and kicked it toward the outside post. It just bounced off in and in. It was sweet.”
Burnett, who assisted on Ammaturo’s goal, scored just three minutes later with help from Lizzie Seibert, and Battle Mountain was rolling.”We’ve been practicing on going on down and pressuring early,” Bowles said. “It gives us tons of confidence, just to keep forward and keep pushing.”Goalies testedTuesday was Battle Mountain’s third game and Eagle Valley’s first, so the Huskies’ quick start wasn’t surprising. That having been noted, the Devils did show some spark putting pressure on Battle Mountain goalies Kori Landauer and Kaeli Hosler.”The Battle Mountain girls were very good at pressuring,” Eagle Valley coach Jenn Marut said. “We’re not used to that type of play. We have to adjust to that. We talked well. We clicked well. I don’t think the score reflects how we played. It looks like the girls got beat pretty bad, but the girls hung with them. I think there were times where we made them sweat a little bit. “We never got down. We stayed with it the whole time until the very end.”
“I feel like that’s indicative of the quality of Eagle Valley,” Cope said. “They put us under some pressure. They got forward. Both Kaeli and Kori made some good saves. The girls are growing in confidence.”Sanders opened the second half with her fourth goal of the year. The senior had copious scoring opportunities, but was denied by Devils goalie Mary Cochrane, the frame and bad luck.Kelly VanHee drew a penalty kick and converted in the 48th, making it 5-0. Burnett nabbed her seventh of the year eight minutes later. The unusual combination of seniors Tanya Solis to Hanna Guida wrapped the scoring.”That validates our philosophy as a program,” Cope said. “If you play for us for four years, there’s a place for you. It was awesome.”Steamboat next
Eagle Valley heads up to Steamboat Thursday night at 6. For Devils’ fans, that is a schedule change. Though the Devils had a rough go of it in their first game of the season, they remain optimistic about improving throughout the season.”I’m feeling really encouraged,” Marut said. “I feel our girls did really well. This is the first time I’ve seen them play. This is going to be a learning experience for me and the team. I think the second time around, we’re going to have some things to work on, but I’m encouraged. The girls aren’t down about it.”Battle Mountain also has the Sailors next in eight days in Edwards. With Steamboat the defending champion of the 4A Slope and the Huskies hoping to take the Sailors’ spot, it’s safe to say that March 22 has been circled on the calendar for a while.”It’s good,” Cope said. “We have a couple of injuries we have to heal up. The players who are healthy, we are going to try to push their fitness and technical ability. We certainly won’t have the excuse of not having enough time to prepare.”Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 748-2934 or email@example.com.