77th minute blues: Glenwood falls in a heartbreaker to Battle Mountain 1-0
EDWARDS, Colorado – Battle Mountain soccer’s Jack Sunderland was not going to miss twice.
Not on the night that the Huskies opened their new stadium. Not after 1-1 ties at Eagle Valley and Steamboat last week.
Deadlocked at zero, Sunderland had a breakaway on Glenwood keeper Carson Wilde, only to be stopped by a superb tackle by Demons defender Mike McGraw.
With three minutes to go and the game still scoreless, Sunderland had his second breakaway.
“I didn’t think I was getting another one, but when I did, I wasn’t going to miss,” Sunderland said.
Wilde made a great save on Sunderlands’s first shot, but the Huskies striker jumped on the rebound and poked it into the right corner in the 77th minute for a 1-0 win Tuesday night as Battle Mountain soccer opened the school’s new stadium in heart-stopping fashion.
“It’s a great moment in my life, my best sports moment ever,” Sunderland said. “Unbelievable. Everyone stuck together. We never gave up. It was just awesome.”
While the Huskies celebrated, the Demons were understandably devastated, having played a fine game.
“We build and build,” Glenwood coach John Mount said. “I told the guys at the beginning of the season that we we’re going to get better. Going up against a phenomenal team like Battle Mountain, it’s a great test for us as a team. This is our league. This is what it’s about. This is a great taste.”
“We played really hard,” McGraw said. “We just got unlucky, I guess. We couldn’t find the back of the net. We had some good opportunities.”
The good news for Glenwood and soccer fans in general is that these two teams meet at Stubler Memorial Field again on Tuesday.
Prior to Tuesday night’s game, every meeting among the 4A Slope’s four contenders, Battle Mountain, Eagle Valley, Glenwood Springs and Steamboat Springs had been a 1-1 tie. This one had all the markings of a scoreless draw.
While the Huskies had the majority of the scoring chances, they simply could not crack Wilde. Battle Mountain pounded him with shots, and he answered, leaving the Huskies visibly frustrated.
“Carson was stellar,” Mount said. “Carson is one of those guys who brings his whole heart and a full commitment to the team. He’s a leader of the program. He’s kind of a late bloomer. He was our back-up last season. This season he’s come out full force for us.”
Glenwood did have two chances in the second half. Danny Weller tried the left post, only to have Huskies keeper Clint Hervert deflect the shot wide. Hervert also came up big on a Sidney Van Hon breakaway.
Once McGraw made his spectacular slide on Sunderland’s first breakaway, the Huskies camp sensed its third tie in its last four games.
Somehow, Battle Mountain found a way. Huskies striker Ubaldo Trujillo threaded a beautiful ball from the left side that sprung Sunderland, and the Huskies and good-sized crowd had something for which to cheer.
“I think it’s huge,” Battle Mountain coach David Cope said. “[Co-captain] Connor Tedstrom said to the boys in the locker room before the game, ‘Don’t let any doubt creep into your mind after those two ties. Make sure you believe you can play until the end of the game.’ It turned out to be pretty prophetic. In this league race, there are going to be more ties and it’s going to be a tight race. Anytime you can get three points in this race is going to be huge.”
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Six members of the Glenwood Springers Track and Field Club traveled to Aurora July 10-11 to compete in the Colorado State Junior Olympic Meet with coach Anne Swanson.