Huskies soccer makes it a Slope three-peat
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — It is not the ultimate goal, but it’s something no Battle Mountain girls soccer team has ever done.
And there have been some really good teams out of Eagle-Vail and Edwards in the spring, most notably the 2007-08 teams.
The Huskies three-peated as 4A Slope champions on Tuesday, winning at Steamboat Springs, 4-2.
“A three-peat is awesome,” Huskies coach David Cope said. “Emily Cope said, ‘10-0. Halfway there.’”
While Cope the soccer player is right to have lofty goals — playing 20 games would land the Huskies in the state-title game — as Cope the coach emphasizes regularly, it’s also the journey, and a milestone like this should be recognized.
“It’s awesome,” senior Molly Phannenstiel said. “It feels good to do it, to seal the deal. We have made some goals. We want to host a playoff game. We want to make it past the second round (of the playoffs).”
Battle Mountain (10-0) is officially in the playoffs and should, by all rights, host in the first round. Big nonconference games await, as do a home-and-home with Glenwood Springs and a road trip to Palisade.
But keep in mind that this teams predecessors were not exactly nobodies. Three Slope titles in a row is really something.
“We feel like the girls conference is really competitive,” coach Cope said. “There’s four legitimately good teams with Eagle (Valley), Palisade and Steamboat. We’re all good teams. I’m really proud of this team.”
Battle Mountain scored in the ninth minute. A.J. Davies played a through ball to Logan Nash. That usually results in a Nash goal, but Steamboat’s Ocoee Wilson stopped No. 13.
However, Morgan Croke was streaking down the field and slammed the rebound home, a nice reward for a player who hasn’t been scoring much but doing so many of the important things a team needs.
Croke assisted on the second goal, gaining the end line and cutting to the net. She hit Emily Cope for a 2-0 lead.
Nash had a buzzer beater of all things at the end of the half. She beat Wilson and just got the ball in as time expired at intermission.
As is usual, Steamboat did not go down easily. The Sailors scored the next two, but the Huskies closed it out in the 59th. Croke sprang Acacia Ortiz into the Steamboat end. Ortiz had the shot but flicked it to Nash, who knocked it home.
The celebration was muted because the Huskies have more to do, but …
“We told the older girls that they’ve got to be proud of what we’ve done,” Cope the coach said. “This program’s done a lot of things, 15-0 (in 2008). A group of girls have never come in here and won three times. The juniors and seniors should take a lot of pride.”
The next test is a nonconference game at Silver Creek. The Raptors are 3-0 in the Northern League, which is generally considered the best in 4A. The Huskies also end the regular season at Evergreen, which should be a challenge.
“It becomes a validation test,” Cope said. “Front Range people will be wondering if we’re legit. Anytime you go through a tunnel, it’s a test.”
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 and firstname.lastname@example.org.