Huskies bowl past Devils
EAGLE – The Battle Mountain soccer team spent Thursday evening at the Back Bowl in Eagle, knocking down pins. At last report, Chris Gavin led in the clubhouse with a 161.This was after the Huskies spent the afternoon bowling over Eagle Valley, 8-2, at the Eagle County Fairgrounds. The Huskies scored early. The Huskies scored late as the two teams played in a league game for the first time since 1999.”I hope it builds into a rivalry,” Huskies coach David Cope said. “They’re certainly going to be motivated for the second game. It’s really nice to be able to come here and play on this nice field instead of going to Delta. I would love to see our two teams at the top of the league.””I would hope it would be us,” Cope added with a smile.That’s certainly the case for now. Andy Banner had his second hat trick of the season and Edgar Hernandez added two as the Huskies moved to 2-0 in the 4A Slope, while the Devils fell to 0-2.Barragan hurtBattle Mountain struck early when a Kyle Moore shot bounced off Eagle Valley goalie Ross Herr. Juan Barragan was right there for the rebound. That was the only bad news on the day for the Huskies. Barragan aggravated his left gluteus muscle injury on that play. When he returned, he broke left humorous bone and will be out for four weeks.
“It was even a game-time decision whether we were going to play Juan at all,” Cope said. “He scored a great goal and then came off. … He’s hardly played this season and that was his fifth goal. It’s pretty amazing.”Wes Minett tied it up at one with a nice run down the right side, but that was only a temporary respite. Barragan was fouled in the box and Banner put one in the onion bag on the penalty kick for a 2-1 lead.Battle Mountain scored on another set play when Banner was taken out just outside the box. Hernandez scored the first of two with a twister over the Devils’ wall.”Andy had been taken down,” Hernandez said. “I just put it in the corner for my first goal. I do that a lot in practices, free shots and all that stuff.””He can score goals,” Cope said. “He scored 12 goals this summer in La Liga. He’s a goal scorer. He came off the bench and scored twice, so he’s going to be vying for a starting position.”Quick start to second halfBattle Mountain came out quickly in the second half, scoring in the first minute. Barragan to Antonio Aparicio to Banner made it 4-1.
For Eagle Valley, it was echoes of Tuesday’s game at Steamboat, when the Devils gave up three, quick goals to start the second half. “I don’t know if it’s a conditioning thing or a discipline thing,” Devils coach Brian Large said. “It’s probably a combination of both.”The Devils’ Mauricio Lagos halved the lead on an assist from Matt Luczow, but the Huskies had an answer in Hernandez. He put two shots on goal, both blocked superbly by Herr, before his third shot was a charm.Herr was a definite bright spot for Eagle Valley. He made great save after great save to keep this game remotely close.”He made some incredible saves,” Large said. “He made 15, 16 saves, which isn’t uncommon for Ross. He’s a good player.”Moore fed Banner for his hat trick in the 69th minute. Hernandez hit the post just missing his trifecta, but Eric Garcia was there for the tap in and a 7-2 lead. Gustavo Bronfield from Brad Myers rounded out the scoring.Next up
Eagle Valley will try to regroup Saturday at Paonia at 1 p.m. in nonconference play.”It’s a learning experience,” Large said. “I’m trying to teach these guys a higher level of soccer. It’s a game of possession. And, we’re struggling with it. We’re trying to get them to play man-to-man defense, giving up on playing zone, because it’s not as confusing. I thought we did pretty well in the first half.”Meanwhile, Battle Mountain has a big game with Rifle Saturday at 11 a.m. at home. The Bears won the league title last season, a run which included two wins over Battle Mountain by a combined score of 5-0.”I didn’t think we played that great against them,” defender Connor Drumm said. “They’ve got a good aerial game where they head the ball very well. We’ve just got to step it up a notch.” Just for kicksGood news from the league came by phone to the Huskies. Glenwood tied the Bears, 4-4, at Rifle. Meanwhile, Moffat upset Steamboat, 3-2. That leaves Glenwood atop the league with seven points. The Huskies are in second with six and a game in hand, followed by Steamboat and Moffat at three. Rifle has one point, while Palisade and Eagle Valley are both searching for their first point. … Again overshadowed by the offense was battle Mountain’s backline of Everado Gonzales, Drumm and Harrison Brown. Drum ended up with the Unsung Hero award. … Man of the Match went to Hernandez.Chris Freud is the sports editor of the Vail Daily. He can be reached at (970) 949-0555, ext. 614, or via email@example.com.