Huskies sail past Steamboat, 3-1, in Edwards
EDWARDS – Battle Mountain soccer started six younger siblings Tuesday against Steamboat Springs so the meaning of the encounter was not lost on the Huskies.
If the family theme wasn’t enough – from the back, Maddie Stevens, Anna Tedstrom, Maddie LyBarger, Stephanie Woodruff, Katie Harrison and Lizzie Seibert – there was also the fact the Battle Mountain fell to the Sailors three times last spring.
And Battle Mountain delivered, overcoming an early 1-0 deficit for a 3-1 win Tuesday night.
“Being a senior, it means a lot,” said Battle Mountain’s Stephanie Woodruff, who had the game-winner at the end of the first half.
“There’s a lot of grit in these girls,” Huskies coach David Cope said. “That’s what you call grinding out a result. I couldn’t be more proud of them in terms of the effort and the togetherness. To come back from behind to beat Steamboat, that’s especially gratifying.”
Battle Mountain raised its record to 3-0 overall and 2-0 in the Slope, while Steamboat Springs fell to 0-1 and 1-1.
Turning the tables
While Sailors coach Rob Bohlmann wasn’t happy with the way his team came out, all early signs pointed to a Steamboat win. Sailors captain Courtney Garth scored on a breakaway goal in the 10th minute.
At just the same time, Battle Mountain’s Lizzie Seibert, who had seven goals in her team’s first two games, went down with a hamstring injury. Seibert gutted it out, returning in the second half, but clearly was not at 100 percent.
“In the first half, the only thing that was working for us was in the counter moments, which is where we got the goal,” Bohlmann said. “Otherwise, it was pretty uncharacteristic the way we played the first half. Battle Mountain played hard. They were pretty consistent. They managed the game really well. They got the result.”
In a turn of irony, however, the Huskies got that result by doing exactly what Sailors did to them last spring. Steamboat won here, 2-0, to clinch the Slope title behind goals by Emmy Birch and Mandi DeVos in the waning minutes of the first half.
Battle Mountain’s Haille Hogfeldt scored in the 37th minute on a beauty of a shot from a tough angle. In stoppage time, Woodruff got her foot on the ball in the middle of a goal-mouth scrum for a 2-1 lead.
Steamboat understandably thought it was back even midway through the second half when Birch clanked one off the crossbar.
“We rode our luck, but good teams do ride their luck,” Cope said.
That said, Cope made a pretty good decision himself late. He took out Woodruff and put in Katie Harrison hoping for a counterattack. Harrison made the coach look good with a breakaway which she buried in the back of the net to ice the game.
“(Assistant) coach Allie (O’Neill) said you’re always going to remember the goal and not how much it hurt,” Harrison said. “I just wanted to score a goal. Cope put me on again. I just passed all these people and it went in.”
The Battle Mountain bench went nuts and Cope pumped his fist in the air, which was a major demonstration on his part.
Where Tuesday’s game leaves the Slope chase is up in the air. The Steamboat camp believes that the league is going by division play. That would mean that the Huskies and Sailors as well as Eagle Valley and Moffat County all play each other twice and then have one league game each against Glenwood Springs, Rifle, Palisade and Delta.
Battle Mountain entered the game thinking that, while there are multiple meetings between Slope teams, the first match was the sole league game. Either way, both teams have a lot of soccer left and presumably the league will make a ruling.
“We’re OK. We don’t need to panic or anything,” Bohlmann said. “The biggest thing we take away from tonight is being able to play better soccer for 80 minutes. The first 40 minutes were not good for us. The second half was much better. We just weren’t able to put it in the back of net.”
“If we have to go up to Steamboat to try to play for the league, that’s a long ways off,” Cope said.
In the meantime, Steamboat hits the road to face Cheyenne Central (Wyo.) Saturday. Battle Mountain is right back at it today at Eagle Valley at 4 p.m. at Hot Stuff Stadium.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 or firstname.lastname@example.org.