Battle Mountain boys lacrosse defeats Eagle Valley in double-overtime
Nate Bishop slings in game-winner
Battle Mountain has come a long way since March 31.
The Huskies lost 16-8 that night to an Eagle Valley squad eager to send a message on its rivals’ home field. On Friday night, the up-valley team did their best to return the favor.
In a back and forth game with six lead changes, Nate Bishop had the final say, slinging in the game-winner in double-overtime.
“Huge game. So proud of the boys — everybody believed in each other,” said coach Connor Compton.
“Double OT against our biggest rival on the last game of the season — couldn’t be any better.”
Battle Mountain set the tone first. After Jack Kovacik took the opening faceoff, the Huskies went to work. Garret Ast got the visitors on the scoreboard 1:15 in, slicing up the Devils defense himself for the opening score. But 17 seconds later, Eric Hasley responded.
Declan Kelly found Erich Petersen to put the Devils ahead a few minutes later, but Husky goalie Seth Bamford stopped two point-blank attempts from Julius Petersen and Owen Taylor at the end of the quarter to keep his team within striking distance.
The visitors came out aggressive to start the second, with Thomas Dekanich swinging the ball to Bergen Drummet for the tying score 15 seconds in. On the next possession, Jack Pryor got to the crease and scored to give the Huskies the lead.
This time, it was Peter Boyd who turned things back around. Arcing left-to-right, Boyd careened around the outside wing until a lane opened up for his sidearm shot to tie the game at 7:44. Two minutes later, a steal provided a streaking Hasley with numbers downfield. The senior dished to Erich Petersen on his left, who touch-passed to Owen Taylor. Goalie Kuba Pecinka gambled on the first pass, leaving Taylor alone by the left post, dropping in the easy goal off the perfectly executed 3-on-1 fastbreak.
While the two scores seemed to jostle the home crowd into action just a bit, P.J. Kessenich quieted things, scoring 35 seconds before the break to tie things back up.
In the third quarter, the Petersen brothers did their thing and the Devils flexed their muscles. Erich and Julius both scored, and a third Devils goal made it 7-4 just four minutes into the half.
Battle Mountain wouldn’t go away, however, as the increasingly chippy play — this was, after all, the final Eagle Valley-Battle Mountain game of the 2022 scholastic schedule — started to seep into the storyline.
“We just clicked into gear and started playing as a team,” Bishop said
P.J. Kessenich drifted to the far corner of the endzone and slung a perfect cross-field pass over the crossbar to Nate Bishop, who jumped on an unexpecting Alexander Kostick for the goal. At the 5:38 mark, Ast struck again, making it 7-6 Devils, which is where the period ended.
A crank shot from 25 yards away by Orion Adelman tied things up 31 seconds into the fourth, silencing the Eagle Valley faithful.
Eagle Valley and Battle Mountain faced off Friday night in Gypsum in the last game of the regular season. | Ryan Sederquist/Vail Daily
Kessenich floated from behind the goal and notched an over-the-shoulder fadeaway shot, giving the Huskies an 8-7 lead with 9:48 remaining in the game. Nolan Miner won the next faceoff, but Battle Mountain quickly retained possession and took two more shots on goal. Adelman wound up from the 30-yard line again and fired a waist-high missle the right side of the net.
Up by two with five minutes to go, Battle Mountain kept the pressure on. Kessenich bounced and overhand shot off of Kostick, and Drummet’s rebound went wide of the open goal.
With 4:01 to go, the 5-0 run was ended when Julius Petersen scored from straightaway.
The final two minutes was a frenzy of turnovers and timeouts, with one of the latter called with 1:17 to go after Dekanich weaved his way into enemy territory. Jaden Weiss turned the ball over and Josh Bissett successfully brought things back to the Devils end.
A flag was called on Battle Mountain after Erich Petersen weaved his way to the crease and was hit on the head while shooting with 39 seconds to go. Petersen and Boyd played catch at the top when play resumed, looking for an opening in Battle Mountain’s stingy defense. Finally, Boyd let fly, rocketing a sidearm shot to the right of Bamford to tie the game with 13.5 seconds remaining.
Heading to their third overtime game of the season, Compton was confident his troops would rally.
”We just needed to trust each other and believe in each other and that’s what we did,“ he said.
“Everyone was feeling pumped,” Bishop said.
“But possessions mattered a lot.”
A tense overtime started on Eagle Valley’s end. Looking for Boyd, Julius Petersen’s pass over the goal was picked off by Dylan Boyes, who raced down to his offensive zone. After a timeout, the Huskies worked the ball patiently, but the closest they came was Ast getting pinched at the crease.
Down at the other end, Hasley was hit hard attempting to drive from behind the net — another Battle Mountain flag — with 18.4 seconds to go. On the ensuing possession, a pass flew past Erich Petersen, foiling any hopes of deciding things in the first extra period.
1:33 into the second overtime, Nate Bishop made his move. Wrapping around the goal, the junior took the contact and launched a lefthanded overhand shot into the right back of the net.
“It’s awesome!” Bishop exclaimed about the final play.
“Feels great. Just like the whole team working together — I feel really glad I was able to do that.”
Highlight of his young athletic career?
“I have a lot of fun every single day, but yeah, this was sick,” he responded.
“This was one of the good ones.”