Yellow cards, red cards — Eagle Valley vs. Battle Mountain provides wacky rivalry game
GYPSUM — There were yellow cards and red cards flying on the green pitch in Gypsum on Thursday as five goalies saw time in net in a wacky 2-0 win for Battle Mountain against Eagle Valley.
“There’s no way you can practice for a game like that,” said Devils coach Maggie Sherman.
Skye Whitney scored the opening goal for the Huskies midway through the first half on a set piece 30 yards out. The Huskies and Devils exchanged opportunities before things got weird, again.
In the March 23 matchup, Devils goalie Brennecke Gale picked up the ball outside of the box, resulting in a red card. On Thursday, Gale did it again. The Huskies were pushing the ball and the junior keeper pushed out from the net to stop the attack. She picked up the ball in the yellow semi-circle at the top of the box, resulting in the red card and the Devils to play down a player.
Rose Sandell filled in at goalie for the Devils, like she did in the previous matchup when Eagle Valley nursed a lead in the second half.
“It was kind of the mentality that we’ve done it before and let’s see if we can do it again,” Sherman said.
But this time, the Devils were trailing already in the first half, and playing 11-10 with the Huskies, and it didn’t take long for Battle Mountain to capitalize on the numbers advantage.
On a corner kick with seven minutes remaining, the Devils defense crashed the box with the attacking Huskies offense. Instead of sending it in from the corner, Whitney tapped it to a wide open Brogan Murray, who drilled a 30-yard shot up and over the outstretched Sandell.
With the 2-0 lead, the Huskies focused on squandering any Devils offense, which eventually got going in the second half.
“I’d hate to play that team with 11,” said Huskies coach David Cope. “They’re a good team and they dominated the second half.”
Jessica Adams, Sofia Aguilar, Hana Berge and the rest of the Devils attack put the pressure on the Huskies in the second half, but to no avail.
“I think it’s a little different this year. They’re definitely a stronger team and we’ve notice that,” Whitney said.
With the red card, Gale will have to sit in the Devils next game against Glenwood Springs on April 11. The penalty might be more severe since it’s her second red card.
Sandell, a stud on defense for Eagle Valley, swapped jerseys for the more colorful one and took to the net in the first half.
“Her presence on the field is important. Having her on the field is a good thing for us,” Sherman said. “She understands that’s her role.”
A fierce competitor, Sandell had to leave her spot at goalie due to an injury, but she forced the trainer to let her walk herself off the field and quickly returned.
In the meantime, Camilla Petterson jumped in net as the third Devils keeper in the game. Her only goalie experience is from pre-high school, her coach said, adding that she was impressed with her versatility.
On the other side of the pitch, Jordan Glendenning secured the first shut out of her high school career. Not without a little drama, of course, seeing as this is Battle Mountain vs. Eagle Valley.
In the second half, Adams was looking to connect with Kaitlyn Borah in front of the net, but Glendenning jumped out and snatched up the ball as Borah took a kick that connected on the goalies head.
“I got it and then she kicked me,” Glendenning said.
Wilder Isom filled in for a few minutes while her teammate recovered, making it five goalies to see time on Thursday.
Despite attack after attack in the second half, Huskies defenders Isabel Mcmurrain, Sarah Cotton and Abigail Carlson forced the ball out of bounds any time the Devils gained some momentum.
“I love playing behind these girls,” Glendenning said. “They’ve improved so much.”
With the win, the Huskies muddle up the Western Slope picture a little more. Palisade sits atop with one loss. Glenwood is up there with two losses, and then it gets crowded around the three-loss mark, where Battle Mountain and Eagle Valley sit along with Steamboat Springs.
“Our girls have shown great character,” Cope said of his team’s three-game win streak. “We had a rough start to the season and now we’re back in the mix.”
For the Devils, the final part of the schedule includes one road game and the rest at home in Gypsum.
“It’s almost hard to watch,” Sherman said of the fluctuating Western Slope standings, “because you can get caught up in it. It changes so frequently.”
The Devils (6-4, 4-3 Western Slope) look to get back on track at home against Glenwood (3-3, 3-2) on Tuesday while the Huskies (3-5, 3-3) host Rifle (0-5, 0-3) on April 8.
Reporter Ross Leonhart can be reached at 970-748-2915 and email@example.com.
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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.