Sanders, Burnett break record in win
GYPSUM – In Battle Mountain’s 10-2 victory over Eagle Valley Saturday, it was tough to tell that two Huskies forwards were chasing history.Kelsey Sanders and Julia Burnett, who started the game with 23 and 22 goals this season, respectively, got on the scoreboard early, but with assists.”I thought they showed a lot of class,” Battle Mountain coach David Cope said. “Julia’s chasing the record (of 24 goals in a year previously held by Christina Aiello), and gives up the ball to Erika Ghent on the first goal. In the situation she was in, she could have just easily turned and scored, but she gave up a decent scoring opportunity to give Erika a great one.”And after Sanders scored her first of the game, on a pass from Burnett of all people, she decided to pass up a clear shot on net to set Burnett up for her second of the game.”She was very unselfish in passing me that ball,” Burnett said.With both players sitting on 24 goals, and his team leading 4-1, Cope subbed in for nearly all his starters at the end of the first half.But 25 would come in the second half, twice.The Huskies’ Emily LyBarger sent Burnett in alone on Eagle Valley’s Mary Cochrane, who came out to cut off the angle. Burnett blasted the ball past a diving Cochrane to set the new Battle Mountain school mark.So did Burnett go wild when she scored? Not really. Her mind was on other things.
“I was thinking it’s Kelsey’s turn now,” Burnett said.Battle Mountain’s Stephany Walker used some nice moves in the Eagle Valley box to set up Sanders for her 25th late in the second half.”Our names may be in the record book as 25 goals, but it will say the season, and we’ll be remembered as the team that got us those goals,” Sanders said.No easy taskScoring goals on Eagle Valley is anything but a walk in the park with Cochrane between the pipes.”Cope and I were talking, and I said, ‘What do you think? You had about 10 goals. Let’s go to the books and see how many saves she had,'” said Eagle Valley coach T.J. Hay.”Mary was great,” Cope said. “It was nice for the girls to get their record against such a great goalkeeper.”Even the officials expressed their amazement at one of Cochrane’s saves where she was fully extended and parallel to the ground.
And the Eagle Valley defense did its part in the first half, holding a tight line that caused the Huskies to be whistled for offsides almost 10 times.”That’s the way we’ve been playing all year,” Hay said.But as the game wore on, the Huskies were whistled fewer times and had more open chances on Cochrane.”The thing about Kelsey and Jules is that they have so much speed that we tell them they don’t need a head start,” Cope said. “They can run across laterally, and when it’s hit, go in.”SniperWith Battle Mountain leading, 2-0, the Devils’ Sarah Hoza cut the lead in half on a free kick 40 yards from the goal.Hoza let the ball rip over the Battle Mountain defenders, and it continued to sail over keeper Kaity Plath and snuck under the crossbars.”She was flat ripping the ball today,” Hay said. “Anytime you put a shot on target like that, it’s going to be hard to stop.”
And if Hoza’s first goal wasn’t hard enough to keep out of the net, her second was just about impossible.On a free kick in the second half 35 yards from the goal, Hoza sent a laser that caromed off the crossbar and grabbed some net for a goal.”I don’t know. I just felt it, man,” Hoza said. “I was going for that total ping-pong effect.”Cope thought the goals were perfectly placed.”Both were great goals. I don’t think our keeper was at fault on either one,” Cope said.Goals and beyondIn addition to her assist on Sanders’ second goal, Walker netted one of her own when she came across the box and slammed the ball into the back of the net.LyBarger ripped a shot top shelf to complement her assist on Burnett’s third goal. Kori Landauer blasted a shot that Cochrane dove to stop, but the ball trickled in. And McKenzie Stevens grabbed her team’s final goal off a loose ball after a corner kick.
With two regular season games left for the Huskies, Sanders and Burnett may push the record up a few more goals.”We’ll get the record as high as we can so the newcomers can’t beat us,” Sanders said.And they agreed that it doesn’t really matter who ends up with more.”I’ll be happy if Kelsey beats me, or if I beat her. It doesn’t really matter,” Burnett said.Tuesday, Battle Mountain travels to Moffat County for a 4 p.m. game, while the Devils will be at Glenwood Thursday at 4 p.m.Sports Writer Ian Cropp can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 14631, or email@example.com. Vail, Colorado