Vail Valley soccer wrap: Battle Mountain, Vail Mountain lose tough ones
MONTROSE — When a team was a state finalist the previous season, it has a target on its collective back.
That was hopefully the lesson learned by Battle Mountain soccer as Montrose knocked off the Huskies, 3-1, on Friday afternoon. Yes, the 2017 Huskies have different players on their roster than the squad that went to Dick’s Sporting Goods Park last November, yet opposing teams really don’t care about that nuance.
The host Indians saw a chance to knock of a state finalist and they did it.
“Watching Montrose celebrate goals and tackles, our guys started to realize that they have to be ready to every game,” Huskies coach David Cope said. “Other teams are so excited to play a state finalist that they’re going to bring their best. We have to match that. That’s part of the learning process, having the same mentality every single game.”
Montrose (2-0) led 1-0 at the half, but it could have been more had it not been for a nifty clear off the line by defender Luke Wilson.
Jorge Membreno scored his third goal in as many games as the Huskies halved the lead at 2-1 during the second half. The Huskies three everyone forward for the equalizer, and Montrose iced the game with Battle Mountain only playing two in back.
And let the record state that Cope was the first local coach to mention the rating-percentage index, aka RPI, this school year. (Sept. 2 at 3:02 p.m., for the record). The Indians, historically a playoff team, went 5-10 last season. That hurt then Huskies in opponents’ winning percentage, which is a part of the formula.
Cope expects the Indians to return to form this season, which should help the Huskies.
In the meantime, Battle Mountain (2-1) has two league games at home, starting with Rifle on Thursday at 6 p.m.
Colorado Academy rallies to beat Vail Mountain
Visiting Colorado Academy rallied for two goals in the final 10 minutes, to nip Vail Mountain School soccer, 2-1, on Friday at Bandoni Alumni Field.
Burke Fancher put VMS (1-2) up, 1-0, in the 12th minute on an intended cross into the box.
“The boys played a great game,” VMS coach Alex Darbut said. “It might as well been a playoff game. It was intense and each team wanted to win.”
Speaking of playoff games, VMS hits the road for Jefferson Academy, which played in the 3A state final last year, on Tuesday.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934, firstname.lastname@example.org and @cfreud.
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Jeff Shiffrin, with his wife, Eileen, made the Vail area their home decades ago, and together raised Mikaela and Taylor Shiffrin, who was a member of the two-time NCAA Champion University of Denver Ski Team.