Glenwood turns the tables on Huskies
EDWARDS — Just when you think you have a handle on the 4A Slope soccer race, a game can slap you upside the head.
The wild ride took another turn on Wednesday night as Glenwood Springs knocked off Battle Mountain, 2-0, as the Demons took a huge step toward qualifying for the state playoffs, while the Huskies’ postseason chances took a hit.
“Full credit to Glenwood. They came out and played well,” Huskies coach David Cope said. “I hate this April break. That’s tough, coming off the break. I didn’t think we played badly. I can’t fault anyone’s effort. Ironically, we had two great practices after (spring break).”
Glenwood Springs (8-4 overall, 7-3 in the Slope) emerged from Wednesday’s game with a stranglehold on second place in the league, which is critical as the top two teams in the circuit get automatic bids to the postseason, regardless of the rating-percentage index. Meanwhile, the Huskies, out of the top two in the Slope, were ranked No. 35 in the RPI, three spots from the promised land.
No more mo?
Given Battle Mountain’s phoenix-from-the-ashes season — six wins in a row after an 0-5 start — this one was a surprise. There was also the fact that the Huskies beat the Demons, 5-2, in Glenwood Springs — usually Battle Mountain’s house of horrors — earlier this season.
But, ironically, the Huskies played this one like it was at Stubler Memorial Field. For some reason, Battle Mountain could not get out wide and play its style.
“We were having a hard time getting out wide, and taking people on,” Cope said. “We only got behind them a couple times. They did a good job of shutting us down and they scored on two set pieces. That’s the game.”
Sarah Helm fed Devan McSwain on a perfectly executed corner kick in the 17th minute. The Demons’ Mae Lang Burns scored off a free kick in the 38th.
Cope did not say the letters RPI in his postgame talk with his team. He did not mention those three letters in his postgame interview.
Battle Mountain plays the Vail Mountain School (8-1) on Saturday, and closes the regular season with Rifle (1-10) and Palisade (11-1) next week.
“We have three games left with two against teams with very good records,” Cope said. “That’s a big part of the formula, the record of the teams you play. I would think over the next couple of games we’ll go up. At this point, we can’t control our destiny, and that’s really what we’ve been doing since we were 0-5.”
While Saturday’s game at historic Bandoni Alumni Field at 11 a.m. does have playoff implications, it’s also a fun renewal of an old rivalry. The Gore Rangers and Huskies have played club soccer together since they were tykes.
“No one in our group has ever played VMS,” Cope said. “They’re the defending (2A) state champion. That’s a fun game.”
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The Coal Ridge High boys suffered their first 3A Western Slope League loss of the year Thursday night on the road at Gunnison, falling to the defending league champion Cowboys 65-45.