Vail Valley preps: Battle Mountain soccer tops Eagle Valley, 3-0
GYPSUM – You have no idea how much better Eagle Valley girls soccer has gotten this season, says coach Jason Rittmiller.
Still, it wasn’t enough to beat cross-county rival Battle Mountain on Tuesday. The Huskies scored once in the first half and twice in the second for a 3-0 win.
And while everyone did everything better, the two teams’ goalies bore up under the cold and snow better than anyone.
Battle Mountain’s Mindy Vickers, a freshman, threw the first shutout of her career.
“She had to make a great save on a high ball late in the game to keep that shutout,” said Battle Mountain coach Dave Cope. “She’s quick off her line and extremely brave. Speed and bravery can really stand a player apart.”
Eagle Valley freshman goalie Lauren Thorpe made 21 saves for Eagle Valley. That may sound like a lot, and it is, but it’s a huge drop from the 50 saves she had to make in her last game.
“Our midfield and defense is getting stronger, much more solid,” Thorpe said.
Battle Mountain’s Kelli Lindsay opened the scoring. Junior Haille Hogfeldt drilled a seeing-eye corner kick into the middle of the goal box. Lindsay stepped in front of the Eagle Valley defense and punched it home for a 1-0 lead.
Battle Mountain made it 2-0 at 19:43 in the second half with a nifty deflection. After Hogfeldt collected a pass at the top of the box, she turned and popped a quickly paced ball through toward the bottom left corner that had the Eagle Valley goalie leaning that way. Emma Porter alertly deflected it toward the bottom right corner and into the back of the net.
Battle Mountain sophomore Kendall VanHee popped home the third goal to round out the Huskies scoring.
“It’s good to come back strong after the break. Everyone stayed fit,” Hogfeldt said, Battle Mountain’s captain. “We were spreading the ball well and moving well off the ball.”
Both teams are young and improving.
“We’re dominated by freshmen and sophomores. By the time they’re juniors and seniors they’ll be unstoppable,” said Jason Ritmiller, Eagle Valley’s coach. “We keep improving with every game. We’re controlling the ball better and moving it more effectively.”
Freshman Justine Sheehy anchored the rapidly-improving Eagle Valley defense.
Battle Mountain stayed in the playoff mix with the win, improving to 5-6-1.
Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 or email@example.com.
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