Huskies erase Delta and the past in 6-0 win
EDWARDS – Battle Mountain girls soccer has some serious arm strength behind it.
Normally, that would be more of a concern for a baseball club, but the Huskies faithful showed off their arms by tossing a few hats from the top of the grandstand onto the track after freshman Molly Phannenstiel completed her hat trick Thursday night in a 6-0 victory in the season-opener in Edwards.
While that was a stunning debut for the freshman and the team, Thursday’s game was more about wiping away bad memories from last season, when the Huskies led Delta 2-0 at the half, only to fall to the Panthers, 4-2.
“That game cast a long shadow and now it’s gone,” Huskies coach David Cope said.
It was a strange second half for the Huskies with more tension than normal despite a seemingly-comfortable 3-0 lead because of last year’s nightmare.
Battle Mountain’s Rosie Davies caught the post and Phannenstiel knocked one off the crossbar in search of the goal that would bury Delta in the second half. Finally, in the 68th minute, senior Kelli Lindsay did the honors and all could exhale.
“Just to make sure,” Lindsay joked. “It was great.”
Finishing the job was definitely the main topic of conversation at the half.
“We talked about playing faster, talking more and coming back and beating Delta because we didn’t last year,” Lindsay said. “We really stuck it out and think we all played well together. It was a great first game and a great way to start out the season.”
It’s hard to disagree with that assessment. Goalies Ali Teague and Mindy Vickers and the defense picked up a shutout. The Huskies were able to show their depth, playing all 17 on the roster.
And the Huskies (1-0) look pretty explosive offensively. Battle Mountain dropped a three-spot on the Panthers in the span of seven minutes in the first half. Senior Maggie Battaglin sprang freshman Logan Nash in the 10th minute for a 1-0 lead. Five minutes later, Phannenstiel logged her first varsity score. It was an excellent shot, but also the product of sustained possession with the Huskies deftly knocking the ball back and then around to find the prime moment.
Emma Porter found the near side in the 17th. Lindsay got the much-awaited second half goal against Delta and Phannenstiel lit up the rest of the evening with the hat trick.
For the statistically-inclined, the hat trick puts the freshman on a pace for 45 goals this season and Phannenstiel is a mere 66 scores behind Kelsey Sanders’ career mark at Battle Mountain.
While all this is a bit far-fetched and premature, it was definitely a good night for the newcomer.
“Molly’s awesome,” Lindsay said. “We love her. She’s a great part of the team. She’s got an amazing personality along with incredible soccer skills. We couldn’t love having her more.”
Battle Mountain hosts Cheyenne Mountain in nonconference play Saturday at 1 p.m.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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