Huskies soccer pays back Montrose
MONTROSE ” Now, that’s a good week.
Just 48 hours after a white-knuckle overtime triumph at previously-undefeated Eagle Valley, Battle Mountain soccer picked up another huge win Thursday at Montrose, 1-0.
Not only was it a victory against a perennial 4A playoff team, but nice atonement for a 3-2 loss to those same Indians last season in Eagle County.
“It’s one of those statement games,” Huskies coach David Cope said. “It was an away game against a quality opponent. We kept a clean sheet, and had to hang on at the end. We always like to talk about firsts, and this was the first time we beat Montrose.”
“It makes it that much sweeter after last year,” Huskies goalie Clint Hervert said. “We were all upset about that. Everyone played as well as we could. We all came together for the victory.”
Hervert’s last sentence is important. The two teams played last year, and the Huskies very much did not play like a team, so this year’s meeting marked progression on that front.
It also helps when you have a goalie on his game. Cope, while he will give everyone who plays for him their 15 minutes of fame, rarely uses major platitudes in citing an individual. That having been noted, he said that Hervert “had his finest game as a goalie.”
For Hervert, the Montrose game couldn’t come soon enough. He was knocked out of Tuesday’s game at Eagle Valley during a collision. Despite being ruled out by the trainer, Hervert was watching the end of that match, desperately wanting to play.
“At the end of the Eagle Valley game, I was so bummed,” he said. “I was so excited. I was so mentally prepared for this game.”
He showed it as he was tested early ” by his own teammates. On a Montrose corner kick, one of the Huskies defenders, trying to clear the ball from the box, accidentally put it on net. That forced Hervert to make a sprawling save, in which he parried the ball over the cross bar.
Hervert ended up also starting Battle Mountain’s goal with a punt to midfield. There, Ramon Bonilla executed a fantastic flick forward to Jair Molina. Molina’s shot on goal was blocked, but Davey DeChant slammed home the rebound for the game-winning goal.
This was especially pleasing to Cope to see all three of his forwards in on the goal.
Montrose, which went 13-4 last year and knocked Eagle Valley put of the playoffs in Round 1, 1-0, did not go down without a fight. The Indians kept putting shots on Hervert, and he kept coming away with them cleanly, allowing no rebounds.
“It think it was just that’s what I’ve been working on in practice,” Hervert said. “It’s the next step in being the best goalie I can be, limiting mistakes. I been working with (assistant coach) Kyle (Mercer) a lot.”
Battle Mountain moved to 5-0 with the win. More importantly, the Huskies are 3-0 on their six-game road trip. With wins at Moffat, Eagle Valley and Montrose, the Huskies visit another tough place to play Tuesday ” Glenwood Springs.
Stubler Memorial Field is not only a football-sized pitch, narrower than a regulation soccer field, but also the site of the truly bizarre when it comes to Battle Mountain soccer.
“It’s always a battle there,” Cope said.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 748-2934 or firstname.lastname@example.org.