Huskies defense gets the nod in all-league selections
With that in mind, we give you Battle Mountain soccer’s all-league delegation, which combined for all of three goals in 2002. File the selections of Ryan Phillips as an all-leaguer and honorable-mention honors to Beau Beckley, Sean Reynolds and Kyle Netzeband as a much-deserved tribute to the Huskies defense, the best in the 4A Slope.
“Our team was known as one which was hard to beat, in the sense that we didn’t steamroll teams and put up a lot of goals,” Huskies coach David Cope said. “But against any team like Broomfield, Steamboat or Glenwood, it was going to be a battle.”
Phillips was one of the Huskies spearheading that effort. The senior midfielder made his name by marking the opponent’s biggest offensive threat in each game.
“One thing each of the coaches said at the (league) meeting was, “We thought our best player was having a bad game. At halftime, we would ask him what was going on and he would say that No. 2 (Phillips) is all over him,'” Cope said.
But Phillips’ role was deeper than defense.
“As a midfielder, he linked our team from left-to-right, and back-to-front,” Cope said. “He also had one of the highest percentages in completing passes.”
And, sometimes, that led to goals. Phillips found the net twice, scoring his first high-school goal at Homecoming and notching the equalizer at Palisade late in the season.
Sean Reynolds has been a presence at the midfield for the last two years. After struggling with injuries early in the season, Reynolds peaked at the right time with his best performances coming against Steamboat, Alamosa and Broomfield.
“It was great that he was able to come back and dominate in games,” Cope said. “And when Kyle (Netzeband got injured, he was flexible enough to play sweeper against Alamosa. You can count on him in a pressure game.”
Testimony to that fact came in Reynolds’ lone goal – the equalizer in his team’s second game against Steamboat.
Clutch would also describe Beckley. The big guy won the goalie job early in the season and led the league with a 1.65 goals-against average, including four shutouts.
“He showed tremendous improvement in each of his four years, and especially from his junior to his senior year. He didn’t grow in size. He’s always had that,” Cope joked. “But he grew in confidence and his ability to calm the team.”
Finally, Netzeband got the nod from the coaches of the 4A Slope for his gritty, physical play. His most telling statistic was that the Huskies only allowed more than two goals in league play once – and that was in a game which Netzeband missed due to injury.
“Our four shutouts go to Kyle just as much as they go to Beau,” Cope said.
Just for kicks: Cope said that other deserving candidates included J.D. Lemon, the team’s leading scorer, Roberto Alcaras, Andy Banner and Juan Barragon. … Thanks go out to the Huskies faithful for their support of the team at the state playoff game at Broomfield last week. There were, according to Cope, plenty of alums on hand as well as other family members associated with the team.
Editor’s note: Keep looking to the Vail Daily for all-league stories as the announcements are released.
Chris Freud is the sports editor for the Vail Daily. Contact him at (970) 949-0555, ext. 614 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.