Huskies bow out in Round 2
ARVADA ” The end came suddenly for Battle Mountain soccer.
Golden’s Tommy Agrodnia scored twice in the final five minutes, giving the Demons a 3-1 second-round win Thursday night at the North Area Athletic Complex, ending the Huskies season.
While one could see Golden’s outburst coming ” the Demons had applied severe pressure for most of the second half and the Huskies were valiantly trying to hold back the tide ” it didn’t diminish the pain and the tears at the end of another strong season for the program.
“We came a long way and there’s a lot of good players on the team,” Huskies senior Oliver Alinaz said. “It’s sad to be leaving as a senior like this, but there are a lot of good players on this team, and it’s going to be good team.”
“I think the guys can hold their heads high. I think that our team should be very proud of themselves,”‘ Huskies coach David Cope said. “They put a real scare into a good team. We scored a good goal. We had some chances. But most of all, we hung with a good team that was a little bit bigger and, at times, our quality showed through.”
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Battle Mountain weathered the storm early against Golden and took a 1-0 lead on a Ricky Luevanos goal in the 31st minute. But Golden’s experience, and more so, size won out as the Demons dominated the second half, scoring three goals.
“Overall, it was good. I enjoyed every minute of it,” Luevanos said. “I know everybody enjoyed every single minute they played. As a team, we came together. We tried our best. Maybe, we weren’t as physical as they were. They know in their minds, ‘Man those little guys are good.'”
The Huskies had no intention of trying to sit on a 1-0 halftime lead. Cope kept the Huskies in their traditional 3-5-2 set, while leaving open the option of pulling players back to defend for later in the half, if the Huskies had the lead.
Golden’s pressure simply put the Huskies back on their heels.
“We were getting chances in the first half. We just didn’t put them away,” Golden coach Chad Reid said. “We had to keep our composure. We liked the way we were playing. These guys were a really good squad. We feel very fortunate to be moving on. We wanted to stay with our game plan, keep switching fields and it ended up working out.”
The Huskies did get a good chance on a shot by Charlie Tedstrom which rattled around the box to David Gonzalez, whose volley was just wide right. But by and large, the action was at the other end of the field.
In the 62nd minute, Huskies goalie Clint Hervert made a great save on Agrodnia, but had no chance on the rebound, which James Martinez crushed into the net for the equalizer.
The Huskies showed a bit of pep when Ubaldo Trujillo just missed from the left side of Golden’s end. By the waning minutes, Battle Mountain’s best chance was likely going to be extending the game to kicks. Agrodnia made sure that didn’t happen with the game-winner in the 75th minute and a breakaway in the 78th.
“I just wanted to get anything we could,” Agrodnia said. “I knew once we got one, all of our leading scorers would start scoring. It just happened I got the other two.”
Ironically, Battle Mountain did a great job on Golden’s Cullen Siewert, who entered the game with 21 goals, didn’t find the back of the net. The Huskies’ Marco Ordono got the honors of marking him and all but wore Siewert’s jersey.
The Huskies f kept together in the first half. In just the first 10 minutes ,the Demons had three excellent scoring chances. Hervert stoned Golden’s Bay Bryan.
On the second chance, Hervert missed the shot, but Connor Tedstrom blasted it out. Marco Escobar snuffed out Golden’s best chance, clearing the ball off the line.
“If we could get through the first 10 minutes, perhaps, we could begin to take the game over a bit,” Cope said. “I thought that’s how the first half played out. We were very fortunate to get through the first five or six minutes. After that, slowly but surely, we began to get some touches and began to be able to move the ball a bit.”
The Huskies got their legs a bit and started to counter. Jair Molina and Cisco Villa combined on one scoring chance. The ball came out to Davey DeChant, who deftly got it to Luevanos.
The Huskies senior cracked the ball into the upper-left corner, igniting the Battle Mountain bench and spurring thoughts of an upset.
With the loss, the Huskies finished the season at 13-3-1, and bid farewell to seniors Zach Korbell, Luevanos, Rudy Solis, Byron Pottoroff, Gonzalez, Charlie Tedstrom, Jose Sanchez, Leonel Barradas and Alaniz. Cope addressed each senior in the postgame huddle.
While the hurt was evident on the field after the game, this class helped make it four Western Slope titles in a row for Battle Mountain.
“We had a tremendous season,” Luevanos said. “We came together as a team and we all got to know each other. We loved every moment we spent together, and I’ll always remember this for the rest of my life. I like these guys.”
The future is also intriguing. While Golden started 10 seniors and one junior, the Huskies had six sophomores on the field.
“We’re trying to set up an environment where people compete for jobs,” Cope said. “We’ve got some kids who had some great seasons. I don’t think you get better by getting older. These guys, we hope, will work themselves to get a little stronger and faster and more skillful over the next few years. Certainly, the foundation is there to have a successful program for the next few years.”
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 748-2934 or firstname.lastname@example.org.