Vail Valley preps: Huskies soccer clinches title in Glenwood Springs
GLENWOOD SPRINGS — Stubler Field in Glenwood Springs is such a sweet place for Battle Mountain to clinch a league title.
The Huskies knocked off the Demons, 2-0, on Tuesday, Oct. 16, for their fourth consecutive 4A Slope title and 12th league crown during the last 15 years.
Yes, there is the fact that Glenwood Springs produced the only blemish on Battle Mountain’s league slate this season, a 2-2 draw in Edwards.
That is doubtless sweet for this edition of Huskies (12-1-1), but Stubler has been a house of horrors for Battle Mountain teams, regardless of caliber.
Coach David Cope’s first squad lost, 9-0, to the Demons back in 1993. Cope is a pretty mellow as coaches go, but he remembers.
Cope got red-carded at Stubler in 2003. Yes, Cope, the Bobby Knight of the Western Slope, and he missed the first round of the playoffs against Canon City because of a suspension. (In a case of irony being very ironic, Demons coach Wayne Smith got a red card on Tuesday.)
And yes, the Battle Mountain girls soccer team nearly got struck by lightning one spring at Stubler.
Did we mention that there was 9 minutes of stoppage time on Tuesday? Even in victory, it’s tough in Glenwood.
“Fantastic, incredible,” Cope said. “All credit to Glenwood. They had a huge crowd and an incredible atmosphere. It was a hostile environment.”
Goose egg in Glenwood
Winning in Glenwood is nice. A shutout is rare. Only two Battle Mountain teams in recent memory have blanked the Demons at Stubler — the 2012 and 2016 squads.
That’s nice company as those two teams finished their seasons at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
So give it up for senior keeper Jackson Borg, who was tremendous. Under the tutelage of assistant coach Jim Glendining, Borg came up aces on Tuesday.
“Jackson’s been Jim’s project for four years,” Cope said. “Jackson’s been waiting for this moment for four years.”
It also takes big-time players for the Huskies to win in Glenwood Springs. Dani Barajas would qualify. Barajas notched his 23rd goal of the season, tying him with Andy Banner and Joe LyBarger for the most goals in a single season for the Battle Mountain boys, during the first half.
Barajas fed Jered Vargas in stoppage time for the insurance. Don’t look now, but Vargas has eight goals in his last four games.
The only downer was that Louis Castillo got hurt. Cope did not know Castillo’s status, but the Huskies hope to have him back for the playoffs, which start on Wednesday, Oct. 24, all but certainly in Edwards.
Battle Mountain came into Tuesday’s game No. 6 in the rating-percentage index and hopes to bolster that status during the regular-season finale at Steamboat Springs on Thursday, Oct. 18.
The Huskies pounded the Sailors, 7-2, in September, and their archrivals will be ready for revenge.
But, just for the moment, the Huskies get to enjoy the league crown.
“This group has had lots of moments, beating (The Classical Academy) and winning at Montrose,” Cope said. “But this moment is right up there.”