Moderately important soccer game tonight
So apparently we’ve got a soccer game tonight.
Eagle Valley at Battle Mountain, Edwards, 6 p.m. Be there.
Home turf usually holds sway in this series, but we assume nothing in a rivalry game. The Devils won in Gypsum way back in August — that seems like a while ago — 2-1 in overtime.
The Huskies are 7-1 in the Slope, while the Devils are 6-2. If the Huskies win, they essential make the league a two-team race with Steamboat Springs. If it’s the Devils, all three teams are tied at 7-2 atop the Slope and Eagle Valley would hold the tiebreaker against Battle Mountain.
Please don’t ask me for the permutations of a draw.
It seems that the Huskies may have had a turning point after getting drubbed by The Classical Academy, 6-0, having reeled off five in a row. The Devils have been a little heart-stopping — an overtime win against Rifle? — but they’ve found a way.
We can talk tactics all we want, but this game’s going to be won in between the ears.
Battle Mountain brings out a swagger in Eagle Valley. The Devils rise to the occasion.
Eagle Valley is in Battle Mountain’s head. It seems strange to say that, as the latter is a more storied program.
Whichever team has the mental strength to play its system wins. Yes, that sounds like a cop-out. Yet the one safe prediction is that rivalry games are never pretty. Staying in system avoids the mistakes that are back-breakers.
In other news and notes:
• Well done, Vail Mountain soccer on beating Roaring Fork on Tuesday. Now, don’t ever do that again. You guys are good, but showing up for the first half in the future would be a good idea.
We give you a pass once, but not twice … and neither will Coal Ridge. Yes, the Titans are a rival, but VMS must play to its standard, especially within the 3A Slope. Do that and the rest of regular season take care of itself.
• Man-buns, I get. But what’s up with the pony tails, Peter Ferraro and Liam Hurley?
• On a serious note, VMS’ defense is doing a wonderful job with musical chairs. No Bridger Gile, no Michael Resnick, no problem. That said, get well soon, Resi. Come back from your college trip soon, Bridger.
• Eagle Valley, the season starts on Friday. A play here, a turnover there, you’re 3-2 instead of 1-4. The whole point of brutal nonconference schedule — Kent Denver, Erie, Lutheran, Evergreen and Northridge are a combined 17-9 — is to get you ready for the Slope.
Yeah, Palisade and Rifle are both 4-1, but the Devils have been in every game against a tougher schedule. You can play with the big boys of the conference, and you can play with Summit County on Friday.
• Vail Christian is in a murderous stretch of schedule, and Battle Mountain is starting its run with Rifle. Both teams have been battling some serious health issues and have thin rosters. This is life, kids. It’s tough. (Yes, this is sports as an extension of the class room.) Find a way, Saints and Huskies.
• The Queen of the Mountain tournament is this weekend, but so far that title applies locally to Eagle Valley. By the way, the Devils finally moved ahead of Montrose in the CHSAA poll. (Huzzah!) The second round of league is next challenge for the Devils (12-2).
The Glenwoods, Palisades, Steamboats and, yes, Battle Mountains will make adjustments. What’s your counter-move, ladies?
• As for Saturday’s tournament, Pool A is Battle Mountain (5-4), Golden (1-7), Vail Christian (5-5), and Lutheran (6-3). Pool B is Alamosa 8-3, Coal Ridge (6-2), Aspen (4-4) and VMS (7-3). According to Huskies coach Jason Fitzgerald, Golden and Aspen may trade places, but it’s nice to see some cross-pollination after a lot of league play.
The reporter also appreciates three local teams being in one place at one time.
See you at the games.