Huskies stay perfect, beat Demons
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – “This is what the playoffs will be like, times two!” Chelsea Vallario told her teammates toward the end of Glenwood Springs’ Thursday girls soccer meeting with Battle Mountain.Vallario knows that, while Battle Mountain rules the Western Slope, even better teams await her Demons on the Front Range as soccer shifts from the regular season to the postseason.
And, though Glenwood did its best to hang with a Husky team that was chasing a perfect regular-season record in the Thursday finale, the Demons’ legs ran tired near the end of each half in a 4-0 loss.The win polished off Battle Mountain’s second straight Class 4A Western Slope League title and first-ever unblemished regular season. The Huskies enter the playoff with a 15-0 overall mark and 14-0 league record.”That’s something we never accomplished before,” Battle Mountain coach David Cope said. “Any time, you know, you have a program, you keep pushing new frontiers, new barriers. I’m so proud of this team.”Cope’s Huskies leveled the bulk of the damage in the second half of each half. Battle Mountain broke a scoreless tie 22 minutes and 7 seconds into the first half when Marisa Ammaturo scored a point-blank goal on a cross from the corner by Josie Tuthill.
Just before halftime, Ammaturo struck again, this time banging home a mid-range shot over the head of Glenwood keeper Kelsie Hert.That goal most greatly altered the game’s complexion. Instead of going into the half down 1-0 – and within reasonable striking distance – they had to start the second half in a deeper hole.The second half proved just as frustrating as the first for the Demons, who had trouble scraping up much in the way of offense against a team that’s allowed just five goals all season.Glenwood kept the Huskies off the board until 21 minutes into the second half, when Jenny Banner converted a Ammaturo pass into a breakaway goal. Banner added another score 5:05 later to round out the score.”They got a couple of late goals, but we hung with ’em most of the game,” said Demons coach Bryan Stoltzfus, whose team wrapped the regular season at 9-4-2 overall and 9-3-2 in the 4A WSL and is postseason-bound. “I’d rather play that team before the playoffs, fight hard and lose, then win 10-0.”
Hert, who made several sprawling saves, and even an acrobatic kick save early on, agrees. “I’m so proud of my team,” said the senior keeper, who made 14 saves. “They played so well. We definitely showed what we’re capable of against a good team. We just couldn’t convert.”Hert was one of four seniors honored before the game. Vallario, Carly Stillman and Brooke Lochard were the other three.Stoltzfus happily saw each of the four leave it all on the field.”We fought hard and played with everything we had,” he said, “especially the seniors. We went all out. (Battle Mountain’s) just a really good team.”CHSAA will release the 32-team 4A playoff bracket over the weekend, with games starting on Tuesday.
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It was a close game, but after some thrilling back-and-forth plays the Rifle Bears were able to pull off the 28-20 victory over The Academy on May 1.