Huskies slide past Moffat County, 2-0
EDWARDS – It was a dark and stormy night and Battle Mountain soccer slipped, slid and sloshed its way to a 2-0 win against Moffat County Thursday.
“This was unprecedented,” Huskies coach David Cope said.
The Huskies aren’t strangers to bad weather – they won a snowy overtime game against Summit in 2004 and prevailed over Cheyenne Mountain in the 2005 playoffs in the snow – but the team hasn’t played in whiteout with the pitch like an ice rink.
We suppose there is a first for everything.
Bryan Aubel fed Broby Leeds in the first minute of the game and all seemed normal. Then the snow came, producing a whiteout for the rest of the half. The snow slowed for the second half, but the field was coated with the white stuff, making footing treacherous and every shot on goal an adventure.
Participate in The Longevity Project
To that end, Battle Mountain keeper Christian Espinoza was brilliant. He made the adventurous look routine.
“In these conditions I just try to concentrate – close my legs and stare at the ball all the way into my hands,” Espinoza said. “It was pretty cold. I was wearing two jerseys and I was still freezing. At the end of the first half, I had half of my face frozen.”
“He was phenomenal,” said Cope, who was wearing a nice self-styled turban on the sideline for a while. “He made two really classy saves where he stretch himself full length. They were low and hard and skipping on the turf. He was deservedly Man of the Match.”
The slick pitch conditions also dictated another first for the Huskies. Cope, who generally preaches using all 80 yards of width on the home pitch, ordered his team to play straight up the middle.
“I’m usually screaming at Gunnar (Wilson), ‘Give us width. Give us width,'” Cope said. “Tonight I’m yelling, ‘No width. Get tight.'”
But ugly was the way to get a much-needed second goal and it came from Alex Trujillo to Ze Barbosa, who plowed the ball and everything else in his way into the back of the net.
“I just saw the ball there, and I slid,” Barbosa said. “I hit the (the defender), the post. The goalie went flying, but it was an important goal.”
Battle Mountain (6-1-1 in the Slope and 8-1-2 overall) earned a season sweep against the visiting Bulldogs, which could be critical as the stretch run approaches. The Huskies can repeat as league champions with win the next two Thursdays against Steamboat Springs and Eagle Valley.
The Huskies will also be rooting for Moffat in its next two league games at Glenwood Springs Tuesday and at Steamboat Oct. 20.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 or email@example.com.
Moffat 0 0 – 0
Huskies 1 1 – 1
Scoring: BM, Broby Leeds (1′), Ze Barbosa (75′)