RPI rankings aside, Battle Mountain Huskies sweep past Eagle Valley Devils | VailDaily.com

RPI rankings aside, Battle Mountain Huskies sweep past Eagle Valley Devils

Battle Mountain's Jeremy Sforzo runs down a ground ball against Eagle Valley on Thursday, April 19, in Edwards. Sforzo and the Huskies came away with an 11-4 victory over the Devils.
Chris Dillmann | cdillmann@vaildaily.com

EDWARDS — Battle Mountain boys lacrosse took its newly minted No. 4 ranking in the rating-percentage index out for a spin and came out with an 11-4 victory on Thursday, April 19, against Eagle Valley.

Of course, whether the Huskies are looking at the RPI, it’s up for debate.

“We’re trying hard as a team not to pay attention to the rankings right now,” Battle Mountain coach Pat Doherty said. “Our main goal is to win the Western Conference and finish 10-0, something a team hasn’t done at Battle Mountain. If we do that, that’s something special, and that’ll carry over to the playoffs.”

So, does senior Jeremy Sforzo hit the internet for a peak at the RPI?

“Every day,” he said.

To set the record straight, all in the Huskies’ camp have doubtless noted the computer standings, and know there’s a long way to go before those numbers really mean something.

In the meantime, Battle Mountain upped its record to 8-2 overall and 7-0 in the Western Conference completing a season sweep of the Devils.

“Most of them, we’re friends with and play other sports with or play lacrosse during the summer,” Sforzo said. “It’s always fun to get out there with them. Of course, it’s competitive with them, but once it’s over, it’s back to friends.”

Good start or bad start?

Eagle Valley started the game with a Bergen Blomquist goal and was within 4-3 with 8:22 left in the first half when Corbin Wilson found the net.

So did Eagle Valley play really well or did Battle Mountain start slowly? It’s probably a little of both, though one’s mileage may vary depending on one’s loyalties.

In fairness, Eagle Valley did move well off the ball early and found some seams in the Huskies’ usually stout defense. Battle Mountain also has been a slow starter this season, in particular a first quarter last week at Littleton where the Huskies found themselves down 5-1 after 12 minutes on their way to 9-7 loss.

“These guys didn’t quit. They kept working hard,” Devils coach Eric Mandeville said. “They listened to the minor adjustments we made. We were a little mistake-ridden today. I’m proud of them.”

Battle Mountain took over the game midway through the second, closing out the half with Tucker Morrow’s second goal and two from Jayme Belyea, who had a hat trick after 24 minutes.

The Huskies blanked the Devils in the third quarter, building a 10-3 lead behind tallies from Mike Barrows, Tom Boyne, and Charlie Morrow’s second.

The stat from the game was that Battle Mountain took 36 shots, and scored just 11 goals, a 30-percent clip. By all means, give Devils keeper Mason Yurcak credit. The Huskies also need to get more of those shots on the cage.

Spring break time

Battle Mountain has a big nonconference tilt against 5A Fruita Monument on Saturday, April 21, followed by the vacation. Perhaps, the break it well timed as ace defender Bryce Runckel is nursing a shoulder injury. The senior hopes to be back for the season finale at Steamboat Springs on May 5, if not for the playoffs, according to coach Doherty.

Meanwhile, Eagle Valley (3-10, 1-8) is off until hosting Evergreen on May 2.

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