Huskies come from behind to beat Bears, 4-2 |

Huskies come from behind to beat Bears, 4-2

Phil Sandoval

RIFLE – This time, a little scare was good.Before rallying back with three goals in the second half for a 4-2 win, the Huskies found themselves trailing after the first half of Saturday’s league match with Rifle.It was something Battle Mountain (12-1-1 league, 13-1-1 overall) hasn’t had to worry about much this year. But it was good that coach David Cope could see that Battle Mountain can battle back from a deficit to win.”It was good for us to play behind because so many of the league games are over by halftime,” he said. “So it was good for us to play from behind, not panic and try to stay wide and keep doing the things we were doing. They were working, and we were getting some chances. We just weren’t finishing them.”Rifle’s Mindy Gonzales redirected a pass from Chelsea Webb for the initial lead in the 12th minute. Kelsey Sanders knotted the game with an unassisted goal with seven minutes left in the first half.Then, with two minutes remaining, Webb broke the 1-all tie with a cross-field shot to the far post to put Battle Mountain in a rare position for them – trailing a league opponent at halftime.”We expected Rifle to come out really strong,” said Cope. “They’ve had a good season and they’re a solid team, and playing them at home is difficult.”So Rifle’s lead wasn’t too surprising for Cope. “I’ve seen games on this field go 6-4,” he said. “So I knew there’s going to be goals in the second half. I told (the girls):, ‘We just need two more than they have.'”Still, it took a hand-ball call against Rifle defender Leah Feeley to sway momentum toward the Huskies. Along with a swish of a Huskies ponytail in the last five minutes to maintain the Huskies’ lead. Julia Burnett knotted the game at 2-2 when the penalty kick after Feeley’s violation beat Rifle goalie Kadie LaRocque to the far post. The goal was Burnett’s 28th on the year.Seven minutes later, Sanders knocked in a rebound from Burnett’s cornerkick for the lead and her 30th tally on the year.”You could see Julia coming down,” Sanders said of the play. “She has great feel on the ball and can beat defenders. Both my goals came off rebounds, so I knew if I were somewhere in the box (the goals) would come eventually.”To win, Battle Mountain barely stopped a Webb free kick from going inside the crossbar.”We beat the keeper to the back post,” Rifle head coach Tom Taucher said. “(Then) a ponytail came out of nowhere and cleared it off the line. That would have tied the game.”Battle Mountain goalkeeper Kaity Plath organized her defenders in a wall, which gave the Huskies’ Kate VanHee the opportunity to make the spectacular play.Emily LyBarger had Battle Mountain’s other second-half goal for the final score.Saturday’s contest was the final match of the 2006 regular season for the Huskies. Now, with a week before playoff seedings are announced, Battle Mountain is in a “wait-and-see” mode so far as its final position will be in the Western Slope League. A game back of Slope leader Steamboat Springs. The Huskies are rooting for Glenwood Springs and/or Rifle to pin a loss on the Sailors.With at least a week between games. Cope plans to settle the team with a series of practices.”The girls would prefer to have a playoff game right away,” he said. “But it allows us to have some training sessions, and training sessions, we think, make them better players. So we’re looking forward to a solid week of training.”Vail, Colorado

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