Huskies draw No. 6, Denver South
EAGLE-VAIL – Battle Mountain girls soccer got its expected seed when CHSAA posted the 4A state bracket Sunday, but some interesting things happened around the Huskies.The Huskies are the sixth seed, consistent with their poll rankings which varied from Nos. 5-8 through out the season, and will host No. 27 Denver South, Wednesday at Freedom Park in Edwards, most likely at 4 p.m.”I think it’s fair seed, given where we’ve been ranked all year, given that we never slipped up and held serve at and all that,” Huskies coach David Cope said. “It’s encouraging that the program is being respected on both boys’ and girls’ side.”The first interesting twist for the 14-0-1 Huskies is that Rebels are not your average 27th seed. Denver South finished with an 11-4 record was fourth in the Denver Prep League.”I think even though we’re the sixth seed and they’re 27th, I think it’s going to be a good game,” said Battle Mountain striker Julia Burnett, who was likely one of many Huskies online Sunday, waiting for the bracket. “I was just excited that we finally got some recognition over here in the Western Slope.”
If the Rebels’ 11-4 record didn’t catch the Huskies’ attention, then there’s Thomas Jefferson. Denver South defeated Thomas Jefferson on April 10 in a league game and T.J. went on to beat Battle Mountain’s archrival, Steamboat Springs, later in nonconference play. The scores of both games were 2-1.”If you look at it, they’re the third (sic) team out of the Denver League,” Cope said. “They have a good record. They look like they’ll be a good team. You go up and down the draw and with the exception of the Montebello at 32 (and Evergreen at 31), there’re not that many teams with really terrible records. There are good teams sprinkled throughout the draw.”Things could have gotten even more interesting with a tweak of the bracket. By drawing the 27th-seeded Rebels, the Huskies were awfully close to playing No. 26. Montezuma-Cortez in a 4A Slope region matchup, or even weirder, league opponents No. 25 Steamboat or No. 24 Glenwood Springs. And yes, the Demons are ranked ahead of the Sailors, despite the fact that Steamboat finished in front of Glenwood in the Slope standings. Apparently, CHSAA took into account Glenwood’s 2-1 win over Steamboat at the end of the season into consideration.
As the sixth seed, if the bracket were to break to form, Battle Mountain would host No. 11 Golden in Round 2 on Saturday. This would be a rematch of Round 2 two years ago down in Golden when the Demons edged the Huskies, 3-2.While not looking ahead of Denver South, the Huskies do like the advantage of being in Eagle County this week.”It means so much,” Burnett said. “It’s so much easier and so much nicer to play at home, especially with our fans. My sophomore year, we ended up going to Golden, and we ended up losing, 3-2. Going to Liberty or any other place is not fun.”
Speaking of places that are not very much fun for Huskies soccer, barring an explosion of the bracket, Battle Mountain will not be playing at District 20 Stadium in Colorado Springs this year. The sound you just heard was Cope exhaling.No Bracket Sunday would be complete without some head-scratching, and CHSAA did not disappoint. Despite finishing with a 15-0 mark, a Northern League championship and beating No. 2 Silver Creek, Niwot got No. 3.”I don’t know how that happened. Somebody out there must know more than me because I just looked at the scores,” Cope joked.Looking ahead a week, if teams played to their seeds, Battle Mountain would be at Niwot in the quarterfinals May 17.Another surprise was Cheyenne Mountain taking the No. 1 spot with a 10-2-2 record and a late-season loss to No. 12 D’Evelyn.But the field is set, so it’s time to get down to business. Battle Mountain and the rest of the bottom half of the bracket plays Wednesday, while the top half kicks off Tuesday. Cope is happy to have the extra day, meaning that the Huskies will likely have a heavy workout today, followed by a light Tuesday.And after a long regular season, it’s finally playoff time.”We’ve been looking forward to this probably since the beginning of the year,” Burnett said. “After we got the two Steamboat games out of the way, this is the game everyone’s been looking forward to.”Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 748-2934 or email@example.comA state soccerWednesday’s gamesNo. 6 Battle Mountain vs. No. 27 Denver South, 4 p.m., Freedom ParkNo. 31 Evergreen at No. 2 Silver CreekNo. 18 Thomas Jefferson at No. 15 LongmontNo. 26 Montezuma-Cortez at No. 7 Pueblo SouthNo. 23 Conifer at No. 10 Mountain RangeNo. 30 Woodland Park at No. 3 NiwotNo. 19 Montrose at No. 14 Pueblo CentennialNo. 22 Thompson Valley at No. 11 GoldenTuesday’s GamesNo. 32 Montebello at No. 1 Cheyenne MountainNo. 17 Centaurus at No. 16 Greeley WestNo. 25 Steamboat Springs at No. 8 BroomfieldNo. 24 Glenwood Springs at No. 9 Fossil RidgeNo. 29 Widefield at No. 4 RegisNo. 20 Cherokee Trail at No. 13 LibertyNo. 28 Pueblo County at No. 5 Ralston ValleyNo. 21 Pueblo West at No. 12 D’Evelyn