Saturday’s soccer wrap
Vail Christian beat Basalt in overtime. We’re so excited, we’re giving them their own article. Check out our website, http://www.vaildaily.com.
EDWARDS — They simply did not go gentle into that good night.
Battle Mountain soccer had a seemingly insurmountable 4-0 lead against Eagle Valley on Saturday in Edwards, only to have to hang on for dear life for a 6-4 win.
The Huskies are probably very happy to have seen the last of the Devils.
“Who says there’s no scoring in soccer,” Huskies coach David Cope joked.
“We showed some good resilience,” Devils coach Stephen Baxter said. “Our girls have blended well as a team well. We’re excited with how we played against a tough squad. We’re working on everything one day at a time, and it shows.”
Big players show up in big games and this was no exception. The Devils’ Mariel Gutierrez had a hat trick as the Devils closed to 4-3 and 5-4, but it wasn’t enough to match Battle Mountain’s Logan Nash. All she did was have five goals.
Yep, that’s right. Under Cope-coached teams, players usually get the hook after the hattie, and only three players have scored four in a game for the coach in his 30-plus seasons on the pitch — Alberto Saenz, Kelsey Sanders and David Ortiz. They got their fourth because they scored before Cope could sub them out.
The Huskies needed Nash for five.
Battle Mountain started things in what was for the home side an orderly fashion. Mallory Skidmore to Emily Cope broke the seal. This was a nice sign for the Huskies (9-0 overall and 8-0 in the Slope) as both outside backs ended up assisting on goals. Skye Whitney to Nash made it 4-0. In between, Molly Phannenstiel fed Nash and Cope, the one who wears No. 5, helped Nash continue her rampage.
At 4-0, the Huskies could have been excused for thinking this one was salted away.
Gutierrez struck in the 61st and the 65th, followed by a goal off a corner kick from Hana Berge, and it was a ball game again. Nash unassisted restored order for Battle Mountain or not.
That’s because Gutierrez pounced again. Cope, a goal and three assists, to Nash in the 78th finally secured the game. If the ref hadn’t blown the whistle, then the Huskies and Devils might still be out there and in double-digits.
Eagle Valley (7-3) is finished with games against teams in contention for the Slope crown, Battle Mountain, Steamboat and Palisade, with a 3-3 mark against those squads. Not only were the Devils 0-5 against those teams last year, but this means that they can try to pile up the points during the final third of the regular season. (Always easier said than done, but it’s a good and new position for the Devils.)
Eagle Valley is at Stubler Memorial Field on Tuesday to take on Glenwood Springs. Meanwhile, the Huskies can clinch the Slope with a win in Steamboat Springs on Tuesday.
And, despite the close call on Saturday, coach Cope was pleased with his team.
“You have to enjoy the experience. I know we have a high standard, but it’s difficult to string together nine in a row,” he said. “We’re had really good teams that have won only three in a row all season. We’ve gotta take stock and realize where we are.”
VMS golden against CRMS
That’s two golden goals in one week on the local soccer scene.
Battle Mountain’s Nash had one against Steamboat Springs on Tuesday and it was Vail Mountain School’s Tess Johnson’s turn on Saturday against the Colorado Rocky Mountain School in a 2-1 win over the Oysters. (And, yes, Vail Christian, this was written before Keelin Robinson made it a local hat trick of overtime game-winners.)
Johnson scored both for the Gore Rangers, but it was her strike in the second overtime that lifted VMS to 5-1 overall and 3-0 in the 3A/2A Western Slope.
And coaches Sylvan Ellefson and Chris Woods moved their all-time high school coaching record to 1-0, as longtime guru of the sidelines Bob Bandoni was back east for his mom’s 90th birthday. (Many happy returns to Mom Bandoni.)
“What we really talked about this week was believing in each other as a team. The sum of the team is greater than its parts,” said Ellefson in his attempt to speak Bandonese.
And while Bandoni is out of town, we can look at the Slope standings and see that VMS is leading the league. While continuing to assimilate players to the team, playing better soccer at the end of the season and achieving a 2004 Red Sox-like sense of synergy are the greater goals, that’s neat to see.
VMS hosts Roaring Fork on Tuesday at Bandoni/Ellefson/Woods Alumni Field at 4 p.m.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934, firstname.lastname@example.org and @cfreud.