Huskies soccer: Bring on Broomfield
The 4A state soccer bracket is out and the Huskies are the 16th and final team, meaning that Battle Mountain has drawn No. 1 Broomfield.
Kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m., on Thursday at Broomfield High School.
“I think it’s great for us. It’s a great opportunity,” Huskies coach David Cope said. “There’s no pressure on us. All the pressure is on them. We get to measure ourselves against the standard. They’re high-school kids and they only get to use 11 of them. I checked with CHSAA. At any given time, they’re only going to have 11 on the field. CHSAA reassured me.”
Before a team meeting Monday, Cope was in fine form. If he gets tired of coaching soccer, there is the distinct possibility of a living in stand-up comedy.
“The only other thing I would say is that we have no chance, just like Senegal had no chance against France, just like South Korea had against Italy,” he said. “Portugal was going to crush the U.S. Last week in European qualifying, Whales 1, Italy 0. England 2, Macedonia 2. It’s a funny sport. If you go out and make yourselves difficult to beat and the other team has an off-day, whatever happens, happens. All of a sudden, it’s a game. That’s all we want.”
Speaking of that fateful Portugal-U.S.A. World Cup game last summer, American coach Bruce Arena’s quote, “It shows the world we can play,” has adorned the Huskies’ practice T-shirts all season.
“It’s high school kids we’re playing against, not A.C. Milan as (VMS’) Bob (Bandoni) would say,” Cope said.
Broomfield enters as the champs of the Skyline Conference with a 9-0 record in league and a 13-0-2 mark overall. The Eagles are led by Johan Werner, who filled the net with 22 goals this season. His partner-in-crime is Nathan Holloway, who put up 15 goals and 11 helpers.
Trying to gauge Broomfield with Battle Mountain is difficult. The Eagles have only one result with a team in the field of 16 – a 1-1 tie with No. 8 Greeley West. Broomfield beat Skyview 3-0 and Skyview fell to Glenwood Springs 4-0 in last weekend’s state-seeding game. The Huskies lost a pair to the Demons 2-0 and 1-0 in 4A Slope play.
One focal point will likely be the battle between Werner and Holloway and the Huskies defense, the team’s strength all season. Look for Ryan Phillips and Kyle Netzeband to get the call against the Broomfield duo, while Huskies’ keeper Beau Beckley should see a lot of action.
Around the rest of the bracket, the 4A Slope didn’t get much respect when it came to the rankings, despite the fact that all three teams – Glenwood, Steamboat and Battle Mountain – won their state-seeding games. Glenwood is No. 12 and faces No. 5 Mullen. Steamboat Springs is in the 14th spot and travels to No. 3 Greeley Central.
In the 3A Slope, No. 5 Basalt hosts Middle Park. Aspen, the league’s other survivor of the regional playoffs, travels to No. 3 Faith Christian in an interesting rematch. The Skiers fell to Faith Christian 4-1 during the regular season.
Machebeuf, which topped VMS last weekend, picked up the 15th-spot and heads to Colorado Springs Christian. Having eliminated Eagle Valley, Fountain Valley drew No. 1 Holy Family.
Chris Freud is the sports editor for the Vail Daily. Contact him at (970) 949-0555, ext. 614 or firstname.lastname@example.org.