Vail Valley preps: Cs on D lift Huskies soccer
EDWARDS, Colorado – Getting a C is not an ideal result in school. Being a C – especially in Battle Mountain soccer – is another thing.
Fullbacks Connor Tedstrom, Cody Hervert, Chad Wilkinson, goalie Clint Hervert and honorary C, David Gonzalez (his nickname is Costa), put the clamps on Montrose Thursday night in a 2-1 win at Phelan Field in Edwards.
“To play the ball to Connor as many times as we did doesn’t make much sense,” Montrose coach Jim Lewis said. “We talked about it and they didn’t make the adjustment. He killed us. Quite frankly, he was the man back there.”
This is definitely different for Battle Mountain soccer, usually known for electric offense. The Cs delivered the Huskies’ second big win (Glenwood Tuesday) on thier titanic homestand, capped Saturday with an 11 a.m. game against Cheyenne Mountain.
“They were trying to play through-balls the entire game and we’re a pretty tall back line with me Cody and Chad, so it’s a little hard to get it over us,” Tedstrom said. “I think it’s a little deflating when we hit it right back into there end.”
“We’re difficult to play against,” Huskies coach David Cope said. “Somewhere along the line, somebody questioned our grit. I think the boys have risen to that challenge. This was ambitious scheduling to bring in Glenwood, Montrose and Cheyenne Mountain the same week. So far, the boys have risen to the challenge.”
Pesky reporters aside, Montrose is no stranger to Eagle County soccer. The Huskies and Indians have made this a nonconference staple. The last two years, the visiting team had won the contest with the Indians winning 3-2 in 2007 and the Huskies earning a 1-0 decision last year in Montrose.
The Indians also edged Eagle Valley, 1-0, in Round 1 of the playoffs in 2007, so this one shaped up as a good test. Both Western Colorado heavyweights seemed to be feeling each other out in the first half. In second half, the Huskies drew blood in the 53rd minute.
Gonzalez made a brilliant run from the left side and centered his pass to Sergio Sifuentes in the Indians’ box. Sifuentes’ shot bounced out to Ubaldo Trujillo who gave the Huskies a 1-0 lead with a shot into the right corner.
Meanwhile, the Cs were stone-walling the Indians’ offense, and in the 75th minute, Tedstrom popped the ball right back out to Trujillo, who took advantage of a defensive breakdown and scored his second goal of the game.
And that for Battle Mountain this year against top-level teams constituted an offense outburst.
“First of all, we need to be patient on the ball,” Trujillo said. “We need to control the ball more. We try to play too much over the top. Once we get our touches, we create our chances.”
“That’s what we need on this team- someone to develop a predatory instinct,” Cope said. “It might be Ubaldo. I thought he took an advantage on a miscue by them. The thing is with good teams you have to be in position to take advantage of mistakes.”
That turned out to be an important marker. Montrose’s Ricky Zatarain smashed a laser from about 30 yards out in the waning minutes to halve the Huskies’ lead.
“He’s a quality player,” Lewis said. “We could play him anywhere. He’s a great center back for us. He made the adjustment to move up to midfield when we had to have a goal.”
Montrose (5-3) returns to Southwest League play with huge game at Grand Junction Tuesday. Both teams enter undefeated in the Southwest League.
Meanwhile, the Huskies (5-0-2) continue their homestand with Cheyenne Mountain, which is ranked No. 3 in the state by The Denver Post and No. 5 by Maxpreps.com.
“I think the week is already a success, but to make a statement against Cheyenne Mountain would say a lot not just for us, but for Steamboat, Montrose, Eagle (Valley) and Glenwood,” Cope said. “It would be a quality statement about the Western Slope.”
Devils blank Rifle
RIFLE – No, Eagle Valley soccer is not playing the meat of its schedule right now, but all the Devils seem to do is win league games.
The Devils made quick work of Rifle on the road Thursday, downing the depleted Bears, 4-0, and with the win, Eagle Valley took over possession of first place in the 4A Slope.
In a rare moment of unity between rival Devils and Huskies, both teams had to like that Glenwood and Steamboat played to their second scoreless draw of the season Thursday. With four ties in five games among the league’s four best teams so far, Eagle Valley’s win Thursday was crucial.
“We got a lot of people in,” Devils coach Jason Rittmiller said. “We worked some JV players in. We were playing people in different positions, trying to take them out of their comfort zone, and they responded well.”
David Shea and Nate Barker both scored twice for the Devils (6-0-1 overall and 4-0-1 in the Slope). The Devils are at Moffat County Tuesday and then get their first look at Steamboat Springs at home on Saturday, Oct. 5.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
League records and point totals for the 4A Slope soccer contenders:
Eagle Valley 4-0-1 13
Battle Mountain 3-0-2 11
Steamboat 2-0-3 9
Glenwood 2-1-2 8