Sailors edge Huskies, 2-1 |

Sailors edge Huskies, 2-1

Luke Graham
Vail, CO Colorado

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS– Give Round 1 to Steamboat.-

In seemingly one of the best rivalries on the Western Slope – one that’s covered years of close games and league championship deciding games – the Steamboat Springs boys soccer team got a pair of Hanson Buchner goals to down Battle Mountain 2-1 Saturday at Gardner Field.-

Buchner put Steamboat (4-0-1, 2-0-1 in league play) up in the 30th minute when he snuck one past the Battle Mountain goalkeeper for a 1-0 lead, marking the first time this season the Sailors had scored the first goal of the game.-

The Huskies (3-1-1, 2-1) responded in the second minute of the second half. Struggling to score thus far, Battle Mountain coach Dave Cope encouraged his defense to press up in the attacking third.-

It worked to perfection at Joe LyBarger got deep on the end line and sent a cross to Huskies defenseman Roberto Diaz and volleyed it out of the air to tie it at 1.-

“We asked him to push up in the second half and he scored a great goal out of the air,” Cope said.

The Sailors started to get the run of play from there, with each teams trading opportunities. Steamboat hit the crossbar on a corner and Battle Mountain had chances on a breakaway and a free kick.-

Finally in the 75th minute Mac Noel was taken down in the box and Steamboat was awarded a penalty kick.-

Buchner made good on and gave Steamboat a 2-1 lead.-

For each team, there were some positives, obviously more for Steamboat. The Sailors got over their slow starts and tightened up defensively. The team was also the first to score more than one goal against Battle Mountain all year.-

Battle Mountain, in a stretch of three road games at Eagle Valley, Steamboat and Moffat County, have moved through the tough early portion of its scheduling feeling like it will be there at the end of the season.-

“We have a lot of home games at the end of the season,” said Cope, whose team beat Eagle Valley last week and plays at Moffat on Tuesday. “We’ve had a lot of away games. If we can hang on and stay in touch, we feel like in the second half at home we could really do well. We like our chances in the return game with Steamboat, but know it’ll be tough.”

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