Huskies soccer wins opener at Montrose, 1-0
MONTROSE — Donnie Leavitt had a genuinely interesting career for Battle Mountain soccer.
As a freshman, he was the back-up goalie to Christian Espinoza as the Huskies went on their now-mythological 20-0 state-title run. He became the goalie the next year and won 15 games as the Huskies went to the quarterfinals. Last year, he transitioned to a field player without much success.
He started his senior year on Friday with the only goal of the game in a 1-0 win at Montrose.
“He didn’t start today,” Huskies coach David Cope said. “He came on as a sub during the first half. He said to me, ‘I think I can do something.’ We gave him a chance to prove it. And he had an opportunistic goal.”
Juan Macias had the through ball and Leavitt, fresh into the game, finished it.
“It’s great,” Leavitt said. “I wasn’t expecting to come out and score in the first five minutes I was out there. I was just hoping to make a difference, show that I’m worth starting.”
He certainly didn’t hurt his case.
Goalie Jack Skidmore, sidelined by a back injury last year, had a great return on Friday, preserving the shutout with a big second-half save.
“It’s great to have him back,” Leavitt said. “I definitely feel safe with a 6-foot-3 guy in the goal.”
The Huskies had some chances for some insurance in the second half. Jacob Amaya was robbed by Montrose’s keeper. Creek Kamby hit the crossbar and Jesus Romero nearly jumped on the rebound.
And while this is just the opener, it could prove to be a significant win for Battle Mountain. Montrose made the state quarterfinals last year, upsetting No. 3 Cheyenne Mountain in the process.
There’s also the fact that the Huskies had four one-goal losses and a tie (at Montrose) last year.
“We’ve been talking about it in training,” Cope said. “Those one-goal games go the other way and you’re not at Fort Lupton (for the first round of the playoffs). You’re at home. That’s been a focus.”
Battle Mountain continues its early road odyssey at Delta today in its league opener.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934, firstname.lastname@example.org and @cfreud.
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Jeff Shiffrin, with his wife, Eileen, made the Vail area their home decades ago, and together raised Mikaela and Taylor Shiffrin, who was a member of the two-time NCAA Champion University of Denver Ski Team.