Vail Valley Preps: Huskies, Sailors draw at one
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colorado – One team was obviously disappointed and the other still jacked up from a late swing of fortune.
Still, neither the Steamboat Springs nor Battle Mountain soccer teams left Gardner Field on Saturday with even a hint of satisfaction.
Steamboat equalized the game with an Andrew White goal with five minutes remaining, but neither the Sailors nor the Huskies could come up with a way to break the tie and the game ended, 1-1.
“That doesn’t feel good,” White said. “Our goal coming in was to play Steamboat soccer and we failed at that. Still, we worked hard and managed to come up with the draw.”
White’s goal came in the nick of time and bailed the Sailors out after a game of offensive struggles.
Steamboat coach Rob Bohlmann urged his team on from the sidelines, hollering “One more run! One more run!”
White finally obliged, receiving a crossing shot directly in front of the net, 10 yards out, from senior Connor Birch. He threw one quick move to get a pair of Battle Mountain defenders off balance, then blasted the ball around them, past the goalie and into the back corner of the goal.
“That was a very good goal,” said Battle Mountain coach David Cope, whose team ended up its season-opening road trip 3-0-2. “The cross was nice and low and (White) had a nice first touch, then picked his corner and blew it past.”
White said chances like that weren’t there all day, but as the game wore on and Battle Mountain – fresh off a game Friday – wore down, he saw them come up more and more.
“It was there inconsistently, here and there,” White said. “It built up over the half. We had some opportunities and I knew eventually we’d score.”
It was enough to make up for Steamboat’s early-game lapse that gave Battle Mountain the high ground.
Huskies’ senior Ubaldo Trujillo rocketed a goal in from nearly 30 yards out just five minutes into the action.
“Their defense was trying to get the ball out of their half and I got the ball right on my foot,” Trujillo said. “I kicked it and they didn’t think it was going to go in.”
Steamboat spent the rest the game trying to play catch up. Christopher Holmquist bopped a shot off his head in the first half that snuck just high, then Brandon Marr was just wide after fighting through the Battle Mountain defense for a shot late in that period.
The Huskies, meanwhile, couldn’t find the goal they needed to put the game on ice.
For much of the late first and early second half, the battle was waged in the middle of the field, few opportunities for either team to be had.
That’s how the second half ended, too.
Battle Mountain had the only good cracks at walking away a winner in the two five-minute overtime periods.
One point-blank shot soared over the goal while another deflected off the crossbar.
Bohlmann said he could appreciate the bullets his team was able to dodge, but like nearly everyone else filing off the field after the game, he did so just somberly.
“Our biggest thing, we didn’t come out and play good soccer,” he said. “From the opening whistle we didn’t have the proper mentality to find a rhythm to generate good opportunities.
“We had one brilliant moment, where Andrew took it down under great pressure and had a phenomenal finish. If you can find a moment in a game that’s not going well, I guess that’s all right.”
Battle Mountain soccer is next in action when it gets to open the news stadium in Edwards at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday against Glenwood Springs.
To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 871-4253 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org