Sanders sets the record with No. 58
CRAIG ” Kelsey Sanders finally got it.
After three years of playing, a seemingly interminable 16-day wait since her last tally and multiple chances Thursday, Sanders picked up the 57th and 58th goals of her career, passing Christina Aiello as Battle Mountain’s all-time scoring leader in a 7-0 win at Moffat County.
After getting the record-tying goal in the first half, Sanders thought she had No. 58 but was called for a hand ball. She was in the Bulldogs’ end numerous times.
Head coach David Cope and assistant coach Jen Davin decided it just wasn’t going to be Sanders’ day and pulled her. Then Kelly Van Hee left the game with a minor injury, so Sanders was back in left fullback.
In the waning minutes, Battle Mountain got a free kick and teammate Julia Burnett called it.
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“Jules put it down and said, ‘Kelsey, put it in the back of the net and be done with it,”‘ Cope said.
Sanders wrapped it in beautifully from 40 yards out for the record.
“You think you get it, and it gets called back,” Sanders said. “You think you get it, and you don’t. By the end of the game, I was like, ‘I’m getting it.’ It’s great. It’s definitely a load off my shoulders. Now I can finish the season off strong. I’m not letting up at all. That’s for sure.”
Sanders was gracious after the game, thanking her teammates for all their help.
“They have supported me the entire way,” she said.
The team said thanks in return by autographing a game ball, which will definitely be a keeper.
“That made my night,” Sanders said. “That’s one of the things you set up on your counter and look at it and say, ‘Oh, yeah.'”
By the way
Oh, yeah, there was a game, too, on Thursday amid the record celebration. The Huskies showed no ill effects of a 12-day layoff due to spring break in moving to 9-0-1 overall and 8-0-1 in the Slope.
Emily LyBarger started the first hat trick of her career very quickly.
“It was really good ” 1 minute and 53 seconds in, we scored our first goal,” Cope said. “It was also good to see Kels assist on her first goal. She had a chance to do her thing. Instead, she lays the ball off and Emily scores.”
And LyBarger wasn’t done. When Burnett clanked one of the crossbar, LyBarger pounced on the rebound for a 2-0 lead. The hat trick came in the 50th minute, and as everyone in Huskies Soccer Nation knows, that’s a tremendous accomplishment at any level.
“It was really cool, but at the same time I have to give Kelsey props because she did get me one of the goals,” LyBarger said.
Burnett, who could end up taking a run at Aiello as well with a strong finish, put Battle Mountain up, 3-0. Freshman Stephanie Woodruff got the honors on a penalty kick,
and the Huskies, continuing to hold down the No. 7 spot in the Rocky Mountain News poll, were off to the races.
“That was pretty exciting,” Moffat coach Seth Young said. “This is the No. 7 team in the state, and I think we played with a lot of heart. When they realize they are playing against a team of that quality, I think these guys seem to step up their level of play.”
Just for kicks
Sanders took home Gianbotigglio, while Gladys Solis got the Defensive Rock. … As is becoming tradition for hat-trick scorers, LyBarger finished the game in net. … Battle Mountain hosts Eagle Valley Saturday at 11 a.m. in Edwards. “We approach it like every other game. We have to come out fast,” LyBarger said. “We have to prove that we’re the best team every time we play.”