Vail Valley preps: Huskies dump Conifer, 4-2
EDWARDS – If he wanted to, Battle Mountain soccer’s Hugo Castillo could probably run for president. On the other hand, Castillo is, in fact, Battle Mountain’s student-body president, so no need.
Castillo was the emergency starter in goal for the injured Christian Espinoza, who had the misfortune of taking a knee to the face in training Monday, and was one of several heroes for the Huskies in a 3-2 win against Conifer in Edwards on Tuesday.
Battle Mountain had leads of 1-0 and 2-1 before a Leopoldo Rodriguez penalty kick in the waning minutes subdued the visiting Lobos.
“With a penalty in the final five minutes, you could say that we stole it,” Huskies coach David Cope said. “On the other hand, we really could have opened up the game had we been able to finish.”
Battle Mountain (6-1) got it going, with Andreas Calabrese digging loose a free ball and getting it to Efren Gonzalez, who rifled it into the Conifer net. The Lobos’ Zack Mahaffey had the equalizer, sending the game into the break tied at one.
In the second half, Brian Morales blew up the right side and laid it over to Jack Sunderland for a 2-1 lead. For Morales, this is turning into a breakout season with these type of runs, and Sunderland continues to have a nose for the net with his seventh of the season.
Keefer Whaley pulled Conifer even with 12 minutes to go. Rodriguez countered with a run, beating two defenders before being pulled down in the pox. He took the penalty kick himself, giving the Huskies a win, which they hope will be helpful come postseason time.
“It doesn’t hurt to beat a JeffCo team,” Cope said. “That’s a Front Range team that’s maybe a little more physical and bigger than us. The real psychological benefit was that we had to win the game three times.”
Battle Mountain has its final home game of the regular season Thursday before finishing the slate with seven straight road games. The Huskies host Glenwood Springs at 7 p.m. and will look to avenge their only loss of the season to date.
Coal Ridge 6, Vail Mountain 0
Coal Ridge soccer came as advertised, as the No. 5-ranked Titans blanked the Vail Mountain School, 6-0, Tuesday at Bandoni Alumni Field.
“There were some times we played well,” Vail Mountain School coach Slade Cogswell said. “(Goalie) William (Sterett) made some good saves. We were able to string some stuff together. Coal Ridge definitely has a great side this year, and they got the better of us.”
VMS (2-6) hosts Grand Valley on Saturday.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 or email@example.com.