Huskies smile after 2-1 win over Devils
GYPSUM – For the record, Battle Mountain soccer’s Efren Gonzalez did smile – a little bit.
“I get serious out there,” Gonzalez said. “I’m not an emotional kind of guy.”
Stoic face or not, the senior made a lot of Huskies smile and jump for joy with a golden goal in the second overtime of Tuesday’s game against Eagle Valley for a 2-1 Battle Mountain win in Gypsum.
“Pretty happy. It doesn’t show, but I’m happy,” Gonzalez said after teammates were yelling, “Smile, Efren.”
Gonzalez actually had both of Battle Mountain’s tallies in a well-played game by both squads. Ze (pronounced Zay) Barbosa fed Gonzalez in the 10th minute for a 1-0 Huskies’ lead. While Battle Mountain did have the better run of possession, Eagle Valley’s speed forced the equalizer in the 61st minute.
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Eagle Valley’s Jesus Saenz got taken out by Battle Mountain’s Roberto Diaz in the box in the 61st minute. The Devils’ Martin Vasquez smoothly drilled the penalty kick into the lower right corner to knot it at one.
Both teams had beautiful chances in overtime. In the first of two five-minute frames, Battle Mountain had three-consecutive corner kicks, and the third rattled around in the Eagle Valley box seemingly forever before the Huskies’ shot went wide right.
In the second overtime, Eagle Valley’s Kevin Escobar served a beautiful corner kick into the box and Alan Careo headed the ball on frame. Huskies goalie Christian Espinoza, a substitution for Nick Vossler who was scratched from Tuesday’s game, made the stop and the Huskies scored shortly afterward.
“I think we had it won on all the judge’s cards before the knockout punch came.” Huskies coach David Cope joked.
While it was game neither team deserved to lose, Battle Mountain (3-0-1 overall and 2-0 in the 4A Slope) could be excused for a deep sigh of relief after the number of chances it had, including a Gonzalez hitting the left post in the waning moments of regulation.
“We had a lot of chances,” Cope said. “One of the things we’re trying to do is get our possession more cutting edge, a little more to goal. You never know. When you leave the margin that close you’re open to a (referee’s) call or a slip or a mistake. I thought we did really well after their goal to keep our composure and keep going forward.”
For Eagle Valley (1-3, 0-1), one can look it at two ways. The positive is that the Devils are never out of game with their ability to stretch the pitch. The downside is that Tuesday was another excruciating loss to Battle Mountain, a team they haven’t beaten since 1999.
“They played hard. They played strong,” Devils coach Jason Rittmiller said. “Every time we play a good team, it shows us what we need to work on. We’ll fix what needs fixing.”
Both teams have big games ahead. Eagle Valley is at Palisade Thursday and home for Moffat County Saturday. Meanwhile, Battle Mountain heads to Steamboat Springs for a renewal of its rivalry against the Sailors Saturday.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 or email@example.com.
Huskies at Devils soccer
Huskies 1 0 0 1 – 2
Devils 0 1 0 0 – 1
Scoring: Huskies, Efren Gonzalez (10′); Devils, Martin Vasquez (61′); Huskies, Gonzalez (88′)