Vail Valley preps: Glenwood strikes late to beat Battle Mountain
EDWARDS – Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s.
Or, on Tuesday, render unto Glenwood Springs’ Micaela Mansfield what she’s got coming.
Without getting too biblical, the best player in the 4A Slope finally broke through in the 74th minute of the Demons’ game at Battle Mountain on Tuesday in Edwards, lifting her team to a 2-0 victory.
“We were doing really well in possessing the ball,” Mansfield said. “We were doing a good job of keeping it and passing it around. We knew it would come eventually. Battle Mountain did well defending the goal. I tried to go for the header and I collided with the goalie and it just came out. It was so relieving.”
Mansfield struck after a period of sustained possession. The junior went for the ball as it came into the box. Battle Mountain keeper Mindy Vickers, who was sensational all evening, got a piece of it, but it tumbled out and Mansfield didn’t miss from there.
Glenwood Springs midfielder Lily McSwain added some insurance one minute later as the Demons passed another test on their road to what they hope is a second-straight Slope crown.
“We definitely have a target on our back, no question about it now,” Demons coach Steve White said.
And justifiably so. The Demons (5-0 in league and 6-1 overall) dumped Steamboat Springs, 4-1, Saturday at Stubler Memorial Field. With that win, Glenwood is the front-runner in the league chase and the team expects more of what it saw Tuesday – the best opponents have to offer – in the second half of the season.
“(Huskies coach) Dave (Cope) always has his team bring a well-organized game, so we respect their team,” White said. “They did good things, and we had to keep working all the time. We had a lot of shot opportunities, but our placement was off a little bit. To get those two goals late in the game was a real bonus for us.”
That was because Battle Mountain (4-5-1, 3-5-1) is clearly a different team than it was toward the end of March when the Huskies squandered a two-goal lead in a 4-2 loss to Delta. Going into Tuesday’s game, Battle Mountain was 2-0-1 after a four-game losing streak within the Slope.
“I think two of the things we’ve talked about with this group is sticking together, no matter what happens, and we’ve done that over the last stretch of games,” Cope said. “Since the Delta game, we’ve really come together. The other thing is that we’ve said, ‘Let’s battle. Let’s compete.’ I thought we did that throughout the entire game tonight.”
Led by goalie Vickers, the Huskies proved a tough nut to crack. Vickers made nice stops on Erica Stripp, Mansfield and Kenzie Kuhn in the final 20 minutes.
While the field was definitely tilting in Glenwood’s favor, the Huskies nearly got the goal they had hoped for in the 72nd minute. The ball precariously bounced around the Demons box before Glenwood goalie Dana Turley fell on it.
Glenwood Springs hosts Eagle Valley on Thursday at 6 p.m. at Stubler in a makeup of a snowout last month, and then heads to Moffat County on Saturday. In the meantime, Battle Mountain has added a nonconference tilt in Edwards on Thursday night at 7 against Basalt to fill out its quota of 15 games for the season.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 or email@example.com.