Huskies set up showdown with Devils
Vail, CO Colorado
CRAIG, Colorado ” It may be monotonous and tiresome, but the beep drill is paying off for the Battle Mountain boys soccer team.
Huskies coach David Cope stepped up the conditioning in the preseason this year after fitness, or lack-thereof, was the team’s downfall in last year’s playoffs. The beep drill, an exercise that players have to run an interval of sprints marked by beeps, is one of the ways Cope is expanding his players’ lungs.
On Saturday, Battle Mountain worked their fitness in the second half with four goals to seal a 6-1 victory against Moffat County.
“Thus far, we’ve been the most fit team on the field,” the Huskies’ Kalen Burnett said. “We knew we would have chances in the second half, but we needed to finish.”
In the first half, Moffat County played closer to the Huskies than what the score showed. Burnett started the scoring and Battle Mountain’s clear advantage in the second half.
Although he admitted that his goal, a loft shot over Moffat’s Dustin Carlson in the 59th minute, was a bit lucky, that’s what happens when a team has the shot advantage of 14-3 in the second half.
“I really thought our third goal was what we needed,” Cope said. “(Moffat) came back with one but we were in pretty good shape.”
Just as the Bulldogs regained some momentum with a penalty kick by Manuel Tarango in the 62nd minute, the Huskies made like Snoop and dropped two goals, quick goals like they were hot.
Exactly three minutes after the P.K., Battle Mountain’s Sergio Sifuentes threaded a pass by two Bulldogs defenders to an open Davey DeChant. It took one touch and then a blast from DeChant to put the Huskies up 4-1. It was DeChant’s second goal of the game.
Moffat County didn’t have time to regroup by the time Brian Morales whisked by two more Bulldogs defenders and put a shot in the left corner for a 5-1 lead. Those goals came in two minutes.
“At this point in the season we don’t recover well,” Moffat coach Ian Forgay said. “We look like a team that passes well and is aggressive one minute and can’t do anything the next.”
The Huskies kept the Bulldogs’ main offensive threat, Tracy Mendoza, marked 1-on-1 all game. Burnett and Hugo Parra took the duties of keeping Mendoza busy.
“We didn’t really make a specific plan for (taking Mendoza out of the game),” Burnett said. “But he was pretty quiet most of the day.”
Maybe Parra’s defense will make up for his missed P.K. in the closing minutes of the game. But his teammates didn’t let him forget about it in the post-game chatter.
Efren Gonzalez didn’t have to worry about post-game razzing. He took advantage of his only chance when he corralled a loose ball off a corner kick and snuck it around the far post. The goal came in the 78th minute.
“A five-goal win isn’t anything to be ashamed of,” Burnett said. “We were bummed to give up the goal but our focus is now onto Eagle Valley.”
The Huskies (3-0 overall and 2-0 in the 4A Slope) take on Cesar Castillo and the Devils, 3-0 winners against Golden Saturday, on Tuesday in Gypsum at 4 p.m.