Huskies booters have ups and downs at Dawson tourney
Battle Mountain boys soccer coach David Cope put this weekend’s Alexander Dawson Tournament on the schedule for a reason.
It’s one thing to fill your preseason schedule with cupcakes – or you can play tough teams, with the hope that it will strengthen you for the league slate.
After a 1-2 performance this weekend in Boulder, the Huskies want the latter scenario to become reality.
Battle Mountain showed all the highs and lows a young team can display. Thursday, the Huskies led Bullis (Md.) Prep, 4-3, in injury time but lost 5-4. Given that Bullis beat Steamboat Springs, a perennial power in the 4A Slope, and went on to win the tournament, the 5-4 loss was a credible result.
The Huskies followed Friday with a 6-2 pounding of Alamada, a 4A school with more than a 1,100-person student body, to advance to the fifth-place game.
Then came Niwot Saturday, against whom the Huskies trailed just 2-1 at half before the wheels came off. The final – Niwot 10, Battle Mountain 1.
“The kids got a little disheartened,” Cope said. “We were right in it at halftime. It was a combination of mistakes in the back. We were mentally struggling and we had some injuries.
“They had guys fighting for positions and they showed no mercy. That’s the way it goes.
But there is a greater lesson for the Huskies, according to Cope.
“We’ll live to fight another day,” Cope said. “We’re a young team that can come within one goal of beating Bullis. So we can compete. The momentum swings are going to be crucial. (Friday against Alameda), everything was sunny and positive, and we played well. When it swings negatively, it can snowball. It’s our job to keep on an even keel.
“We told the kids afterward that this is why we go to this tournament. Last year, we lost to Kent Denver, 6-1, and turned back around and beat (Vail Mountain), 5-nil. Can these guys respond like last year’s team? Can they raise their level of play and put a heavy defeat on another team?”
In a related development, the Huskies open league play Thursday against Palisade at home at 4 p.m.
Thursday, Battle Mountain will be looking for the style of play it had against Alameda. The Huskies struck early on a Derek Byron goal from Tyler Cole, who had three helpers on the day. Cole fed Kyle Moore in the 25th minute for a 2-1 lead.
From there, the Huskies cruised. Juan Barragon scored on a penalty kick just before the half. Five minutes into the second half, Byron scored his second, courtesy of Barragon for a 4-1 lead.
Barragon picked up his second goal of the game, thanks to an assist by Andy Banner, who scored against Niwot. Isaac Anderson finished it off on Cole’s third assist of the game.
VMS falls to St. Mary’s 3-1
The Vail Mountain School boys soccer started well Saturday against St. Mary’s, but two, early, second-half goals by the Wildcats, handed the Gore Rangers a 3-1, season-opening loss.
Howdy Tuthill scored for VMS early and the two teams were tied at one after 40 minutes.
“We came out in a lackluster fashion in the first 10 minutes,” VMS coach Bob Bandoni said. “They scored two goals, but I felt we dominated the rest of the game. That’s encouraging going into league play, but I thought that our competitive edge was missing. We still have to improve dimensions to our competitive disposition. That will be our focus in training. We learned a lot today and I believe the team goes into next week in a hopeful manner.”
VMS is at Aspen on Saturday.
Chris Freud is the sports editor for the Vail Daily. Contact him at (970) 949-0555, ext. 614 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
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