Huskies slam Summit, 6-2
EDWARDS ” You could tell in warm-ups Tuesday afternoon at Freedom Park at Edwards.
“When we start well, we play well,” Huskies coach David Cope said. “You could see that in so many of our games this year. I always think the warm-up sets the tone. If we have a quality warm-up, if guys are focused, we start the game well and put the other team on their heels.”
After a regular season of inconsistent performances, the Battle Mountain soccer team was clearly on its game Tuesday in the first round of the 4A state playoffs, building a 3-0 lead on its way to a 6-2 win against Summit County and a date Thursday at Golden.
“I give credit to (Battle Mountain),” Summit coach Justin Turri said. “They were taking care of their chances, and they were finishing. We had a couple early chances we didn’t put away. It really changes the tempo of the game. The momentum of the game. We got down, 3-0, and it was a tough battle back. I give credit to my guys. They didn’t stop fighting.”
The Tigers had no answer for the Huskies’ Rudy Solis who logged the team’s first postseason hat trick since Edgar Hernandez did it twice in 2005 against Evergreen and Cheyenne Mountain.
“You always want to score goals, but you never expect three in the playoffs,” Solis said. “I was thinking about the game. I went to sleep early yesterday. I just focused.”
With the exception of a miscommunication between fullback David Gonzalez and Huskies keeper Clint Hervert which produced a scoring chance for Summit’s Hunter Black, Battle Mountain was rolling from the start.
Before his goal-scoring rampage, Solis fed Jair Molina for a 1-0 lead. The Huskies capitalized on a poor defensive clear minutes later. Ricky Luevanos stole the ball and got it to Solis for his first.
Marco Escobar later threaded a pass beautifully to Solis for a 2-0 lead.
After scoring the equalizer in a 2-1 overtime win against Moffat County, Battle Mountain sophomore Ubaldo Trujillo earned his first start of the season Tuesday from Cope. Trujillo made the coach look good.
Switching to left midfielder, Trujillo drilled a bullet into the left corner, a shot which stirred a vocabulary debate on the Huskies’ bench as to whether “snipe-alicious” is actually a word.
“I think if you look snipe-alicious up in the dictionary, you would see Ubaldo’s name there,” Huskies keeper Clint Hervert said.
Apparently, the Vail Daily’s dictionaries haven’t been updated yet.
“I just saw the ball coming through. I just hit it,” Trujillo said. “Last game against Moffat, I didn’t do that. This time, I hit it the first time, instead of trying to take on the defenders.
“Once I score a goal, I get my confidence. I didn’t have a good season. Once I scored that goal (against Moffat), I have my form back. I have my confidence back.”
Trujillo’s goal was part of a key sequence. Just after he scored, Black had an opportunity on the right side for Summit. Hervert made a great save.
“I saw him come in, so I came off my line,” Hervert said. “I just reacted to the shot. That’s what you have to do. You can’t remember what you do. You just do.”
“Keepers can change the momentum when they come up with big saves like that,” Cope said. “I thought they were putting us under a little bit of pressure. All of a sudden, Clint steps up and makes a save, and that’s a big-time save. He’s done that a couple of times this year.”
Black got Summit on the board as the Tigers entertained hopes of a comeback.
But Battle Mountain reestablished order the second half with a free kick when Solis was taken down. Solis composed himself and bent his shot right around the Summit wall for a 4-0 lead and the hat trick.
“He definitely won’t get my Clash reference ” ‘Rudie Can’t Fail.’ I think when Rudy goes well, we go well,” Cope said. “I think in big games we’ve wanted a little bit more from Rudy. He stepped up today. He drilled three really good goals.”
Solis has 10 goals this season, giving the Huskies two scorers in double-digits, Molina (12).
Scott McDonald answered for Summit. Battle Mountain’s Leonel Barradas scored on a pass from Gonzalez to complete the affair.
The four-goal margin between the two teams remained from their regular season meeting. Battle Mountain won in Farmer’s Korner, 5-1, last month.
“I was hoping we would come out a little hungrier and a little angrier,” Turri said. “I was hoping we would come out a little more aggressive. We contemplated marking one of their players, either Jair Molina or Ricky Luevanos. We chose not to. I think it was the right decision. I think it would have taken away any offensive opportunity we had.”
Summit finished the season at 7-8-1.
No. 11 Battle Mountain will continue its tour of the Jeffco League in Round 2 Thursday. No. 6 Golden blanked No. 27 Skyline, 5-0, Tuesday.
Turri, whose team fell to the Jeffco champs, 4-0, sees Thursday’s game as an interesting match.
“I think Battle Mountain will be a little bit more of a possession team than Golden is,” Turri said. “They’ve got good players in the midfield who knock the ball around well. I think if they stay with their game plan and posses the ball, they’ll do fine. Like I said to Dave, I think he’ll have to mark (Cullen Siewart, who has 21 goals). They’ll do well.”
Ironically, this is not an unfamiliar scenario for Battle Mountain. The Huskies won their first-round game and faced the then-Jeffco champs, Conifer. The Huskies won, 5-4.
“It’s a second-round game on the road against a Jeffco champion,” Cope said. “Last year, we said to our guys that this was for the championship of Western Colorado. I think it’s important. I think the top of our league matches up with the top of their league.”
Just for kicks
Time and place are for the Golden game were unknown as of press time. Details will follow Wednesday. … Battle Mountain remained perfect in postseason home games during Cope’s tenure. The Huskies have wins over Canyon City (2003), Ranum (2004), Evergreen (2005), Cheyenne Mountain (2005) and Mountain Range (2006). … Cope, that is Emily Quinn, 9, expressed concern over the Huskies’ defensive play in the second half. Dad agreed. … Eagle Valley fared the best of the 4A Slope teams Tuesday, losing a heartbreaker to Montrose, 1-0. No. 32 Glenwood Springs lost to No. Broomfield, 6-0. No. 5 Greeley Central knocked off Steamboat Springs, 4-0.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 748-2934 or email@example.com.