Huskies exercise the Demons in 5-1 rout |

Huskies exercise the Demons in 5-1 rout

Playoff-bound Battle Mountain boys improve to 8-4-1 overall

Battle Mountain's Edwyn Montes moves the ball Monday in Edwards. The Huskies cruised to a 5-1 win.
Chris Dillmann/Vail Daily

EDWARDS — On an atypical day for a high school soccer game, Battle Mountain’s varsity boys turned in a typical result under the lights Monday on their home turf.

The Huskies dominated possession, as usual, and were patient around the net as they slowly but surely imposed their will on the Demons of Glenwood Springs in a 5-1 rout.

The Monday game was a makeup from a previously canceled match and was the only meeting between the two familiar foes this year in what is typically a league game. With the 4A Western Slope getting divided in half this year, however, to avoid trips through Glenwood Canyon, the match was a nonleague affair.

The Huskies, already playoff-bound and ranked fourth in the CHSAA rating percentage index, took care of business in the first half with three goals in a 13-minute span. Battle Mountain’s Sam Koontz broke a scoreless tie in the 25th minute when he caught up to a through ball in the box and put a foot on it before Demons goalie Jan Carlo Arreola could react.

Battle Mountain's Saul Sinaoloa moves the ball down the field against Glenwood Monday in Edwards.
Chris Dillmann/Vail Daily

In the 31st minute, Huskies sophomore Alexis Dozal found the back of the net off a beautiful pass from the right side into the box. Dozal, with a one-on-one against the goalie, neatly pocketed the shot into the left side of the net away from the diving keeper.

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Then, with under three minutes to go in the half, Huskies senior midfielder Bryant Ramirez drilled a shot from about 30 yards out that sailed over Arreola’s head and into the net.

The Huskies tacked on two more goals in the second half, with Joseph Fernandez scoring in the 51st minute and Koontz tacking on a second goal about a minute later before coach Dave Cope emptied his bench. The Demons’ goal came with 13 minutes to go, with most of the Huskies subs on the field.

“We needed to come out hard, and we knew that if we did, we’d eventually control the game,” Koontz said. “That’s exactly how we like to play at Battle Mountain. Coach really stresses patience, and he knows that it will come. If we control the ball and we stay patient, he knows that we’ll get an opportunity sooner or later.”

Battle Mountain's Samuel Koontz gets ball control against Glenwood Springs Monday in Edwards. Koontz netted two goals in the Huskies’ win.
Chris Dillmann/Vail Daily

Cope said his team is hitting its stride at the right time as it gears up for a playoff run. The Huskies host Vail Mountain School on Thursday at home before closing out the regular season Saturday on the road in Colorado Springs at The Classical Academy, 4A’s top-ranked team at 12-1 overall. The Titans’ only loss this season is against Atlas Prep, a 3A team that edged Battle Mountain in Edwards with a golden goal in overtime on Sept. 25.

“We tried out two different formations today, kind of with the same personnel and both of them worked really well,” Cope said. “Even in the first part of the game where it took us a while to score, we felt like we were playing really well. The big thing with our guys is, we have to recognize that against better teams, it might take that long. But as long as we’re controlling the game and we’re playing well, we have to take satisfaction in that and then work on that last piece.”

Cope was able to get 24 different players in the game, which he said is always a joy.

“We had a couple of guys make their first appearance of the year, which is unusual for us, because usually we have some blowouts,” he said. “For some guys to get in for their first game of the year, that’s really fun. You could see the enthusiasm from the starters on the bench. That’s always a good sign with your team.”

As for the Demons, coach Theo Williams said he was pleased that his team never stopped fighting and that the late goal came from a pair of freshmen.

“Our goal for the second half was to focus on just winning the second half,” he said. “We lost it, 2-1, but a lot of positives for us. The most minutes were down to freshmen players; our goal came from a freshman player, and our assist came from a freshman. We really looked at this as an opportunity to say, ‘OK, we’re going to lose the game, but let’s get some plays in and let’s develop.’”

With the win, Battle Mountain improved to 8-4-1 overall while the Demons fell to 5-6-1 on the year.

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