Seibert sets the tone in the opener in Edwards
EDWARDS ” Spaghetti and Meatballs or the Wonder Twins are no longer when it comes to Battle Mountain girls soccer.
Marissa Ammaturo transferred from Battle Mountain, breaking up a spectacular scoring combination with Lizzie Seibert.
But now a junior, Seibert hasn’t lost her touch for goals as she had a hat trick in Battle Mountain’s season-opening 7-0 win against Eagle Valley Thursday in Edwards.
“It’s definitely different, but it’s not worse,” Seibert said. “Everyone has something to offer. There are always people to serve balls. It’s a really strong group. Like Cope said, when people leave, other people step forward. That’s definitely happened a lot.”
Huskies soccer coach David Cope, who had his usual preseason jitters, must be feeling better. Not only did Seibert do her thing, but Syd Idzikowski, Josie Tuthill, Kayla Telles and Haille Hogfeldt all found the onion bag, in a performance which the coach hopes sets the stage for a new crew this spring.
“I thought the new players came in and played really well, led by (midfielder) Erin Barker,” Cope said. “I think it’s really important. For our team, balanced scoring is always a goal. So today to see Haille and all those kids involved was great. Kayla Telles’ goal was well-taken. It’s good. We starting to solve the puzzle.”
While no one likes being on the wrong end of a 7-0 game, Eagle Valley walked away feeling good about its prospects for 2009. These two teams met in last year’s season opener ” and it’s clear the Devils are already ahead of schedule.
“We played the whole game. Last year, we couldn’t, and (we) were sacred,” Eagle Valley coach Francois Nanin said. “They didn’t play scared. This year, we played them. Yes, it’s 7-0. … Today was a soccer game. Last year was not a soccer game.”
Syd and the kids
One of the noticeable aspects of Eagle Valley’s improvement was defensive structure. The Devils did stymie Battle Mountain a bit. Idzikowski broke the seal on the season eight minutes in, slamming home a loose ball after a mad scramble in the box.
Devils keeper Blanca Gonzalez was injured on the play, but returned after being spelled by Nicole Martin. Gonzalez did fine job keeping her team in the game with many solid saves.
But then there are times a goalie really can’t do anything. Battle Mountain’s constant pressure wore down the Devils, and that equaled three goals in the final eight minutes and change of the first half.
Seibert took a feed from Tuthill and found the left side of the net for a 2-0 lead. Cope hopes that is the first of many from those two. A few minutes later, Seibert struck a free kick from 35 yards out that gracefully found the top of the netting.
Tuthill from Kylee Gilbert closed the half.
Seibert got her hat trick in the second half on another perfectly-positioned shot. Telles from Hogfeldt and Hogfeldt from Maddie Frye rounded out the scoring.
“I think Lizzie really played well,” Cope said. “Until you show me a better player in the Western Slope, she’s it. That kid’s special. She should have a big impact on this league.”
“We gave them the first goal, but they had five great goals,” Nanin said. “That’s soccer.”
Just the beginning
Eagle Valley is just getting started. The Devils have three home games next week ” Steamboat Springs Tuesday, Montrose Thursday and Moffat County Saturday. For Devils fans, the Moffat game is now in Gypsum because Craig doesn’t have any officials currently.
“It’s very early in the season,” Nanin said. “We’ve only had eight practices, but that’s the same for everybody. We’re going to practice tomorrow. We’re going to practice Monday. It’s going to be the same thing, controlling the ball, developing the attack from midfield, be patient, work on the triangle formation.”
Cope, for one, expects the Devils to surprise this year.
“They’re going to make some waves in the league,” he said. “It was good to see the spirit they had in the first half. I thought for a long time they played very well against our group and sort of stifled us a bit.”
Meanwhile, Battle Mountain doesn’t play until Thursday when it hosts Summit County. With the Huskies opting for only 10 games against league opponents, March has a different feel to it as the team prepares for Front Range competition in the Valor Christian Tournament before spring break.
“It still feels a bit like the preseason phase,” Cope said. “We’re going to try to push fitness a bit. Everyone was cramping. It’s nice that before spring break we make this trip to Denver to play those three nonleague game, so we’re trying to play well before that. It gives our early season a focus.”
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 or email@example.com.