Sanders does the trick for Huskies
EDWARDS – On the sideline, cell phones were working overtime Thursday while the Battle Mountain and Moffat County girls’ soccer teams met.Wisconsin-Milwaukee upended Oklahoma in the NCAA tournament. Montana upset Nevada. Tennessee and Boston College just survived, saving the brackets of Huskies’ fans.Happily for those same faithful, there was no upset on the pitch. Battle Mountain cruised to a 7-1 win over Moffat to move to 3-0. The major drama was whether the Huskies’ Kelsey Sanders would get her hat trick and would the Huskies’ starting midfield all score?Sanders scored with 10 minutes left for her trifecta and midfielder Erika Ghent found the net just before the whistle.”Everybody’s sharing in the spoils,” Huskies coach David Cope said. “It’s good to see Kate (Van Hee) and Steph (Walker) both assisting and scoring. The partnership between Jules (Julia Burnett) and Kelsey is starting to gel a little bit, and it’s going to have to be like that. People are going to be marking and we can’t rely on one (player) scoring. For Jules today to create three or for goals, that’s awesome.”After hat tricks in Battle Mountain’s first two games, No. 14 didn’t score. She will not be punished with sprints in practice today because all she did was assist on each of Sanders’ goals.”Our connection is so strong,” Sanders said. “We’ve had this connection since we’ve been little. Today obviously, she assisted all three of my goals, and last game I assisted on two of hers. We like read each other’s mind.”
Sanders’ three made for the first hat trick of her career.”Kelsey, that’s her first hat trick of her career, which is an accomplishment at any level,” said Cope to the sound of a rim shot somewhere in the distance. “That’s great. I didn’t realize that until she said it. She’s got a bunch of goals for her career, and is going to get a bunch more.”Even for 30 minutesIn all fairness, Battle Mountain was in much better shape to play this game. Moffat had two games postponed this week – Montrose and Steamboat – because of weather going into Thursday’s game. The Bulldogs were also without their basketball players who made along run into the postseason.Nevertheless, Bulldogs coach Jim Loughran was pleased with what he saw from his charges.”I think we’re better than we were last year,” he said. “I think we’ve improved. I was proud of them. I thought there were some good runs. I was pleased with our girls. I think they responded. It was a good game between us. They were just a better team.”
Sanders scored first for Battle Mountain, but Moffat’s Shaylyn Kowcak replied in the 30th minute for a 1-1 tie.”I thought Moffat did really well,” Cope said. “You’ve got to remember it was 1-1 after 30 minutes. You could see fitness starting to tell in the second half. Our girls are very fit and pretty athletic.”MiddiesBattle Mountain showed those traits in taking over the game. Van Hee took a ball off the end line, beat her defender and found Emily LyBarger at the top of the box. The sophomore gave the Huskies the lead for good, and started a trend of midfield scoring.After Burnett to Sanders made it 3-1 at the half, it was Walker’s run to represent Battle Mountain’s middies.”It was crossed off from the center by Erika and I just one-touched it in,” Walker said. “It was unexpected it came to me. I one-touched it in. It was lucky.”
Van Hee was next on Battle Mountain’s midfield hit parade, slamming home her own rebound. Ghent made the midfielders 4-for-4 late.”Everybody’s sharing the ball. You look at the combination like Christy and Emily and Erika and Steph,” Cope said. “People are knocking the ball around. Erika played great today. We knew coming in that our midfield would have such experience and they’re showing it.”Just for kicksBattle Mountain continues its run of home games Saturday at 11 a.m. in Edwards with Steamboat Springs. This tilt is likely for early supremacy of the 4A Slope. … Moffat was scheduled to host Glenwood Springs Saturday, but that game has also been snowed out. The Bulldogs next game is at Rifle March 30, unless make-up dates are announced. … Battle Mountain’s Kelly Van Hee took home The Bag for her defense. Walker picked up The Necklace for creativity and Mr. G went to Sanders.Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 14630 or firstname.lastname@example.org.Vail, Colorado
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