Huskies take down Steamboat, 2-0
EAGLE-VAIL, Colorado ” Round 1 to Battle Mountain, and Round 2 is in a week.
The Huskies took the latest in a series of The Biggest Game in 4A Slope Soccer Until the Next One, knocking off Steamboat Springs, 2-0, Tuesday afternoon to take first place in the league for what should be a whopping 48-hour reign until Thursday’s Biggest Game Ever when Glenwood Springs is at Eagle Valley.
The Huskies moved to 6-1 and they hold the tiebreaker with their downvalley rivals, Eagle Valley (6-1), by virtue of a 2-1 win against the Devils Sept. 9. Glenwood is at 5-1, while Steamboat is 4-3 in what is the most wide-open Slope race in years.
Not only do the Devils and Demons meet Thursday, but the Huskies and Sailors do this all over again next Tuesday up in Routt County.
“We hope for draws.” Huskies coach David Cope sort-of joked.
Jair and Davey
Tuesday’s renewal of Battle Mountain-Steamboat Springs started as a match between the Sailors’ strong midfield possession game and the Huskies’ speed on the flanks.
The Huskies’ Davey DeChant started Battle Mountain’s first tally with a run down the left side and a pass to Leopoldo Rodriguez. Polo, as he is better known to his teammates, had a shot, but crossed the ball instead to Jair Molina who headed the ball past Steamboat goalie Connor Birch for a 1-0 lead.
Four minutes later, Molina had a nice angle on net. But instead of taking the shot, he drew out Birch and slid the ball over to DeChant for the easy tap-in.
“Both were high-end goals,” Cope said. “It was selfless play. Leo could have scored. Instead he goes to Jair. Jair could have had another, but he gives Davey the better shot.”
Teamwork was something that Sailors coach Rob Bohlman felt was conspicuously absent from his charges.
“When you play as a group of individuals, that is not going to work (against Battle Mountain),” he said. “The good thing is that is uncharacteristic of our team.”
Despite a lack of unity at times, Steamboat still had its chances. The best one came late in the first half when the Sailors’ David Wright rifled a shot toward the upper right corner of the net, only to be denied by Huskies goalie Clint Hervert.
“That was a game changer,” Huskies midfielder Tyler Madison said.
Also key was Battle Mountain’s depth. Cope used his bench early and often, rotating midfielders Brian Morales, Jack Sunderland, Sergio Sifuentes, Madison, Rodriguez, Cody Hervert, Efren Gonzalez and Patty Baskins.
While Battle Mountain didn’t get the back-breaking third goal it sought in the second half, the Huskies’ fresh legs dictated the tempo in the second half.
“This is what we can do when we have everyone.” Cope said. “It speaks of the fellas that we bring that sort of quality off the bench.”
Steamboat (7-3 overall) likely will have the opportunity to get back on the winning track with a home game Saturday at 11 a.m. against Palisade, Meanwhile, Battle Mountain hosts Moffat County under the lights of Phelan Field Saturday at 6 p.m. for Homecoming.
The Huskies (8-2) are a decided favorite, but none of the top-four teams contending for the Slope crown can afford to drop points to the bottom-three teams in the league.
“I’ve never played a game there,” DeChant said. “It’s something we’re all looking forward to.”
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 748-2934 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Battle Mountain 6-1
Eagle Valley 6-1
Glenwood Springs 5-1
Steamboat Springs 4-3
Sept. 2 at Steamboat, Steamboat Springs 2, Glenwood Springs 0
Sept. 9 at Gypsum, Battle Mountain 2, Eagle Valley 1
Sept. 16 at Glenwood, Glenwood Springs, 3, Battle Mountain 1
Sept. 18 at Glenwood, Glenwood Springs 2, Steamboat Springs 1
Saturday at Steamboat, Eagle Valley 2, Steamboat Springs 1
Tuesday at Eagle-Vail, Battle Mountain 2, Steamboat Springs 0
Thursday, Glenwood Springs at Eagle Valley
Oct. 7, Battle Mountain at Steamboat Springs
Oct. 9, Eagle Valley at Glenwood Springs
Oct. 11 at Eagle-Vail, Glenwood Springs at Battle Mountain
Oct. 14 at Gypsum, Steamboat Springs at Eagle Valley
Oct 16 at Eagle-Vail, Eagle Valley at Battle Mountain
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