Glenwood postseason push comes up short
GSPI Sports Editor
The Demons’ tie is Rifle’s gain.
Glenwood Springs, needing a win to qualify for the postseason, stumbled late as Battle Mountain rallied with two goals in the final 13 minutes to pull out a 2-2 tie in the Demons’ season finale Saturday at Stubler Memorial Field.
The tie leaves Glenwood a point behind rival Rifle for the third and final playoff spot out of the Class 4A Western Slope League. Glenwood would have gained the spot with a win due to owning the head-to-head tiebreaker.
“Rifle played hard this season, so good for them,” said Demon senior Abby Willman, who had two assists in the game. “All the girls are so young, they’ll beat Rifle next year.”
The tie also took Battle Mountain out of the running for the league title, but head coach David Cope wasn’t disappointed considering the comeback.
“I think any time you’re 2-0 down and come back for the tie you’ve got to feel good about it,” Cope said. “I thought the kids kept their composure really well.”
Leading 1-0, Kaitlyn Otto scored her second goal of the game to give Glenwood a 2-0 lead in the 51st minute.
Then Battle Mountain coach David Cope decided to make some changes, bringing off some defenders and inserting attackers.
The move paid off quickly as the Huskies controlled play in the Demons’ defensive zone.
A Demon hand ball in the penalty area gave Battle Mountain a penalty kick with 17 minutes left in the game, but Glenwood keeper Senorina Jacobo came up with a diving save on Keegan Garnsey.
It was one of a number of big saves by the freshman goalie, who turned away 11 shots in the second half.
“When you’re down like that and you miss a penalty kick you start thinking it’s just not in the cards,” Cope said.
But the Battle Mountain pressure didn’t waver after the missed chance and, eventually, it paid off. Lauren Arnold got the Huskies on the board after corner-kick scramble in front with 12 minutes left in the game.
The Huskies evened the contest less than five minutes later when Erika Ghent put in a rebound that bounced out front off the post.
“Our ranks are pretty lean and we got a little tired,” said Glenwood coach Linda Loman, who was limited in her eligible personnel due to the high school 30 halves rule.
Both teams had opportunities in the overtime periods ” Glenwood controlling the first five-minute period and the Huskies had the better chances in the second period ” but neither team could finish off the game.
In the first half Battle Mountain had plenty of opportunities, but it was the Demons who took advantage of theirs.
Glenwood got on the board first when Otto played a free kick from Willman off her body and drew the keeper out before netting the goal in the 24th minute. Otto’s second-half goal also came off a free-kick assist from Willman.
Battle Mountain (9-1-1 WSL, 9-3-2) has clinched second place in the league and plays its regular -season finale Thursday against league-leading Steamboat Springs.
The Demons end the season in fourth place with a league record of 5-5-2 (5-7-2 overall) ” a solid mark considering the adversity faced by the team, which included key injuries and a number of players quitting midway through the season.
“It’s incredible with all that happened, to come out and put up a fight against a great team like this,” said Willman, one of four seniors on the team. “I’m proud of what we accomplished with all the issues we faced.”
“We’re leaving behind something that isn’t going to fall apart when (four) seniors leave,” added senior captain Heidi Wild, who pointed out that most of the team is underclassmen.
The other two seniors are forward Marle Freitag and goalie Keegan Nadon, who was knocked out for the year due to injury early in the season.
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