No 16: Huskies soccer lands at No. 5 |

No 16: Huskies soccer lands at No. 5

BMBS Hernandez, Edgar PU 10-22 Preston Utley/ Summits Victor Casillas jumps in between the ball and the Huskies Edgar Hernandez during the first half of Battle Mountains 3-2 loss in overtime.

EAGLE-VAIL – And now, a rare moment for Battle Mountain boys soccer.The Huskies would like to thank their fine friends at CHSAA for awarding them the No. 5 seed Sunday in the 2005 state playoffs. Really, no more hard feelings about the 16th seed last year.”I’ll take it,” Huskies midfielder Kyle Moore said. “There’s no one and no six.””It’s huge,” fellow middie Tyler Cole said. “It’s a lot easier if we don’t have to think about playing Liberty in the second round. That’s a lot of pressure off us. It gives us a lot more hope.” For the record, if both teams advance, No. 1 Liberty and Battle Mountain would meet in the semifinals, which would suit the Huskies fine. At No. 5, the Huskies (14-1) will host No. 28 Evergreen (4-10-1), tentatively scheduled for the friendly confines at Eagle-Vail Tuesday at 3 p.m.”It’s fair. If we’d been 15-0, we might have said that we were worthy of No. 4, so we could have a quarterfinal at home,” Huskies coach David Cope said. “It’s a very similar seed to what Montrose got last year when they were five. But they were 15-0 and we weren’t, so fair enough. The soccer gods took care of it.”SummitThe visiting Cougars play in the Jeffco, which means they met up with Summit on Oct. 6. Evergreen won, 3-1. That should catch Battle Mountain’s attention as the Huskies won 14 in a row before coughing up a fur ball an a 3-2 overtime loss to those same Tigers Saturday.”It’s a wake-up call in that you can’t waste time in a game,” Cope said. “We essentially ran out of time in that game when we started to play well and it was too late. I’m trying to emphasize the fact that we were 2-nil down without six starters on the field, a man down and we came back.”

Saturday was the fourth time the Huskies at least overcame a deficit on the road. Though the Huskies trailed Summit 2-0 and tied the Tigers before losing in overtime, the Huskies have come back against Glenwood Springs, Steamboat Springs and Alexander Dawson, a good portent for a playoff-bound team.Nevertheless, the Huskies realize that more effort will be required Tuesday than they showed on Saturday.”I said to the guys after yesterday that we need to take this as an eye-opener and not say that it was a fluke,” Moore said. “We need to start getting serious. It’s the playoffs. We’re not playing Steamboat or any of those guys. We’ve got to take it seriously.”The CougarsEvergreen went 3-4-1 in the Jeffco. It should be noted that its tie was against league champion, Golden, which is ranked No. 7. Within the league, the Cougars lost to No. 20 D’Evelyn, 5-0, No. 24 Conifer, 4-1, and No. 25 Ralston Valley, 3-2.In nonconference play, the Cougars met up with No. 10 Mullen twice, falling 1-0 and 3-2. Evergreen also has a defeat on its slate to 5A No. 18 Palmer, 4-0.”I think they come out of a good league,” Cope said. “They posted really good results against Mullen, Golden and Summit. They’re going to be competitive. They’re going to be good. I think it’s good for us rather than playing some anonymous team and saying, ‘They’re 28 and we’re five.’ We saw that against Summit.”Looking at the Evergreen roster, George Hunt certainly grabs one’s attention. He’s the Cougars’ main threat with 15 goals and five assists.”We’ve got players who are pretty good defensively in Connor (Drumm), Tony (Seibert), Taylor (Telling) and Chris Woodruff, the warrior in the midfield,” Cope said. “Between those guys, I don’t think we mark somebody individually, but we’ll certainly mark him when he has the ball.”

It should be noted that Battle Mountain contained the Slope’s leading scorer, Moffat’s Jose Loya (19 goals and four assists), to one goal in its two meetings with the Bulldogs.The Huskies will counter with a very balanced offense. Edgar Hernandez and Gustavo Bronfield tied for the team lead in goals with 12. Cole put up eight goals and eight assists, with a lot of those tallies coming in clutch situations. Then there’s Joel Gonzales (six goals and four assists), who’s had the hot hand as of late. Casey Kleisinger comes in with five goals, having played only half the season.Josh Ruark Battle Mountain’s Josh Ruark, one of the top goalies in the 4A, will be sitting out Tuesday’s game, serving a red card netted in Saturday’s Summit game. He picked up the card by having a few colorful words in a heated moment with teammate Cole, with whom he’s good friends.Winning on Tuesday to get Ruark back in the net is powerful motivation for the Huskies against Evergreen.”That’s all that it’s for, especially because I was part of the reason everything went so bad,” Cole said. “I said something to him and it just went from there. I wasn’t expecting that at all. I went up to him after the game. I was like, ‘I’m going to personally make you play next week.'”D.J. Van Curen will get the call to start between the pipes. He acquitted himself quite nicely against Summit. The two goals he allowed against the Tigers were on a penalty kick rebound and an overtime breakaway, scores which really weren’t his fault.”One of the first things the kids said at the end of the game yesterday was, ‘Josh’s season cannot end on a red card. We’ve got to do this for Josh,'” Cope said “They’re thinking that’s important. Having said that, D.J. has a lot of motivation to prove himself.”

Home cookingThe Huskies are definitely excited about playing at home. Their pitch has been good to them the last three years. Battle Mountain is undefeated in Eagle-Vail this year and has lost only one game in the last three years on the soccer fieldThat loss was a 2-1 decision to Dawson last year. Battle Mountain’s only other home loss during this span was to Rifle in 2003 at then-Huskies Stadium, a much smaller field.”It’s gold,” Moore said. “I love our home. We haven’t lost there this year. We want to keep that true.”Just for kicksIf Battle Mountain wins Tuesday, the Huskies take host the winner of No. 12 Cheyenne Mountain and No. 21 Pueblo West. Just a reminder, Casey, if it’s the Indians, you’re playing soccer, not hockey. Looking further ahead, there is an intriguing possibility in the quarterfinals. Glewnood drew No. 13 and hosts No. 20 D’Evelyn. If the Demons take care of business in Round 1 and pull the upset, likely against No. 4 Pine Creek, while the Huskies hold serve, it would be Battle Mountain-Glenwood in the quarters in Eagle-Vail. … Looking at the rest of the 4A Slope, Montrose, a semifinalist last year, grabbed the No. 9 spot and hosts No. 24 Conifer. CHSAA still has some issues when it comes to seeding. Moffat County finished ahead of Rifle in the Slope, but the Bears are No. 22 and at No. 11 Niwot, while the Bulldogs landed in the 31st spot and have the unenviable task of facing No. 2 Broomfield. Conspicuous by its absence in the postseason is Steamboat. The Sailors finished 2-11-2. … In the 3A Slope, Basalt is No. 3 and has No. 14 Colorado Academy. No. 16 Colorado Rocky Mountain School will be lunch meat for No. 1 Kent Denver. Aspen did not make it through the state-seeding round, losing to C.A., 3-2. … It’s a safe bet that the girls soccer team will be out in force Tuesday. Two springs ago, Evergreen eliminated the ladies, 1-0, in a state-seeding game in Edwards. Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at (970) 949-0555, ext. 614 or via, Colorado

Support Local Journalism