Vail Valley preps: Battle Mountain soccer keeps rolling, blanks Devils, 8-0
EDWARDS — Yes, the Huskies are watching it.
“Just a little bit,” Huskies soccer senior Alexis Perez said.
That’s the tactful answer with regard to the rating-percentage index.
“Everyday,” Huskies soccer coach David Cope said. “I’m not one of these guys who pretends to ignore it.”
That would be the understatement of the season from Cope, whose team entered Thursday, Oct. 4’s match against Eagle Valley ranked No. 2 in Class 4A. Ironically, the Huskies will probably drop after an 8-0 win over the Devils in Edwards.
As Cope will tell you, the biggest factor in the RPI formula is an opponents’ winning percentage and since the Devils, now 1-11, are rebuilding this season, the Huskies’ strength of schedule declines, even with a win, and likely their ranking.
But that Battle Mountain (9-1-1 overall and 7-0-1 in the 4A Slope) is hovering in the rarified air of the top four in Class 4A, eyes are starting to turn to the postseason.
Two huge games remain for the Huskies — at Glenwood Springs on Thursday, Oct. 11, and the regular-season finale at Steamboat Springs one week after that — with regard their chase of a fourth straight league title and RPI.
“It just motivates us to keep on beating teams and show everybody why we deserve to be there,” Perez said.
Barajas goes off
Battle Mountain rolled against Eagle Valley with the obligatory Dani Barajas goal. The junior probably earned another start with a goal and four assists on the evening.
To Eagle Valley’s credit, the Devils stayed in it until the 23rd and 24th minute, as the Huskies’ Jered Vargas scored twice for a 3-0 lead.
“Basically, it’s good to watch a team like that because we see what they see,” Devils coach Maggie Sherman said. “We start to find those moments where we can do those things to opponents. Being able to defend a team like that for a certain amount of time, keeping it 1-0 was a positive. It’s good for them to see that.”
Battle Mountain’s Antonio Jimenez finished the first half with a 4-0 lead.
Dutch Schroeder, Trevin Twiss, Perez and Bryant Ramirez rounded out the score sheet.
“The level of play right now is so high,” Cope said. “Everyone is playing for each other. People are unselfish. You have prolific goal scorer like Dani Barajas cutting it back from the line and giving chances to other people.”
More to come
The question in Battle Mountain’s camp is “Can the Huskies keep it going?”
Battle Mountain recorded impressive back-to-back wins last month against The Classical Academy and Steamboat Springs, only to draw against Glenwood Springs at home.
That tie wasn’t the end of the world, but a slight worry for a team with ambitions of a deep of run during the postseason. Road games at Glenwood Springs, the Huskies’ historical house of horrors, and at Steamboat, which is smarting for revenge after losing 7-2 in Edwards last month, will be telling.
In the meantime, the Huskies host Rifle on Monday, Oct. 8, for Senior Night. Andreas Hernandez, Jackson Borg, Dutch Schroeder, Hidalgo Ortega, Perez, Drew Keiser, Vargas, Chris Lopez and Jose Soto will be taking their bows.
“We’ve got to keep our heads and keep in mind that this one is for the seniors,” Twiss said.
Eagle Valley heads to Steamboat Springs on Tuesday, Oct. 9.
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Jeff Shiffrin, with his wife, Eileen, made the Vail area their home decades ago, and together raised Mikaela and Taylor Shiffrin, who was a member of the two-time NCAA Champion University of Denver Ski Team.