Huskies win regular-season finale
Saturday’s regular-season finale between Glenwood Springs and Battle Mountain had no meaning as far as Western Slope League soccer standings, but it did have meaning.
Glenwood Springs was playing for pride, while the Huskies were looking for some momentum heading into the postseason.
Momentum won out.
Five different Battle Mountain players netted goals as the Huskies downed Glenwood 5-2 at Stubler Memorial Field.
Battle Mountain finishes the regular season with an 8-4 record in the 4A Slope (9-6 overall) and in the third playoff position behind league champion Rifle and second-place Steamboat Springs.
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The defending league champion Demons ended the season tied for fifth in at 4-8 (6-9).
“We played all our seniors,” Glenwood coach Bob Guska said. “The game wasn’t really about winning and losing. There are a lot of players who worked hard and just needed to get playing time.”
“It was kind of strange atmosphere, because nobody was really playing for anything,” Battle Mountain coach David Cope said. “We started a bit flat and then got going.”
The Huskies got going in the 23rd minute. Andy Banner, Battle Mountain’s leading scorer, weaved in and out of traffic for 45 yards before toeing a shot into the upper corner past Glenwood goalie Arturo Ponciano for a 1-0 lead.
The Huskies next two goals came off the bench. Forward Josh Ruark netted a rebound goal with his first touch of the game in the 29th minute, while forward Edgar Hernandez followed it up less than two minutes later with a rebound goal of his own for a 3-0 advantage.
The Demons got on the board with three minutes left in the first half when Taylor Wilde scored on a penalty kick to cut the lead to 3-1.
The goal ignited Glenwood for a time. The Demons had a trio of scoring chances to open the second half.
The chances were all turned away by Battle Mountain goalie Muzi Gaziogla, until Glenwood’s Pablo Fuentes beat a Husky defender to a John Gabriel through ball. He beat Gaziogla to the lower right corner to bring Glenwood within one goal at the midway point of the second half.
However, it was the final goal of the game for the Demons, and the Huskies added a pair of header scores in the final 10 minutes. Harrison Brown put a head ball in off the corner kick of Tyler Cole, and Everado Gonzalez finished off a free kick from 22 yards out by Julio Garcia to finish up the scoring.
“We got two goals from set pieces,” Cope said. “If we can defend well in the playoffs … those could be the difference.”
Battle Mountain plays later this week at home in the regional round against either Pueblo County or Canyon City.
Sean Kelly is the sports editor for the Glenwood Post-Independent. He can be reached at (970) 945-8515 ext. 515