Huskies win local derby over Vail Mountain
EAST VAIL — It was not an average game, so it did not have an average postgame either.
After Battle Mountain soccer earned a 3-1 decision at Bandoni Alumni Field on Saturday over the Vail Mountain, each team got a postgame talk from the other squad’s coach. Pete Petrovski congratulated the Huskies and wished them well. David Cope made the obligatory joke to the Gore Rangers about how Petrovski played for him in the early-90s and said that VMS had a special group.
This simply would not happen after a VMS-Coal Ridge or Battle Mountain-Glenwood Springs match.
“Good start, really good energy, good atmosphere, beautiful day in East Vail, beautiful field,” Cope said. “I thought it was great. I was so pleased for our group to get going, and I’m proud of what Pete’s putting together over here.”
Behan strikes twice
Juan Macias did the honors breaking the seal on 2016 for Battle Mountain. He got the pass from David Barajas. One has to be specific with the Barajas family as David’s younger brother Danny also saw considerable playing time in the midfield. That’s a rarity for a freshman in Huskies boys soccer.
VMS got its legs underneath itself and was competitive throughout the game, which was the point of the exercise as a 3A side playing a 4A school.
“I knew what we were getting into when we signed to play this game, and that’s why we did it,” Petrovski said. “We came out a little flat to start. They took it to us. They’re a solid side. They’re a good team, but I felt like, in different aspects of the game and different times, we held our own and controlled aspects of play.”
The Gore Rangers got the equalizer in the 36th minute when Liam Hurley fed Christian Trevino for a rocket over Huskies keeper Alan Villegas.
The turning point was somewhat controversial as the Huskies’ Macias got pulled down in the VMS box three minutes later. Cody Behan took the penalty kick and put it in the left, lower corner.
The VMS bench was of the opinion that similar scenario had occurred in Battle Mountain’s end with no call earlier in the half.
Behan’s second goal of the game in the 56th rendered any dispute over any first-half call moot.
“It’s good to play with all my friends who play for my club team,” Behan said. “This is the first game of many. It’s really important. It gives us a jump-start on the season.”
More to come
Behan was right on the money in saying it’s the first of many. This was good start for the Huskies (1-0), and nothing resembling a setback for VMS (0-1).
“It is one game and it is nonconference for us,” Petrovski said. “With the (ratings-percentage index as the new ranking system), the better season Battle Mountain has, the better it shows for us. We lost our first game last year and then we won 13 in a row. We have experience with where we are now.”
Both teams have more rivalry games ahead. The Gore Rangers host Aspen in nonleague play at the Bob on Thursday at 4 p.m. Meanwhile, the Huskies head down to Gypsum for their Slope opener against Eagle Valley.
“We just have keep on pushing ourselves and practicing to get better,” Huskies junior Tony Velasco said.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934, firstname.lastname@example.org and @cfreud.