Huskies soccer scrapes by Sailors, 5-4
Edwards — Battle Mountain soccer’s winning streak lives — barely.
In the latest instant classic of the Battle Mountain-Steamboat Springs soccer rivalry, the Huskies’ Kevan Aubel scored with 8:29 left in double overtime on a penalty kick to lift his team over the Sailors, 5-4, in Edwards on Tuesday night. The win was Battle Mountian’s 22nd in a row.
The Huskies (2-0, 1-0) had trailed 3-1 with 13 minutes left in regulation and were down 4-3 with 30 ticks remaining in the second half.
“I had all these scenarios on pieces of paper — up one goal, down a goal, overtime,” Battle Mountain coach David Cope said. “But I didn’t have the scenario written for down a goal with less than a minute to go.”
Despite the loss, the Sailors (1-1 overall and 0-1 in the Western Slope League) played a tremendous game against their arch-rivals.
Battle Mountain’s Alexis Robles and Steamboat’s Grant Verploeg traded goals in what was a rather placid first half. The Sailors did a nice job of imposing their tempo on the game, upping it from their opener, a 4-2 win against Delta, and slowing down the Huskies.
The Sailors had the Huskies frustrated and, more importantly, broke through with a Carter Kounovsky goal, assisted by Peter White, in the 65th minute. White was a thorn in Battle Mountain’s side all game with a goal and two assists.
Two minutes later, White to Lopez gave the Sailors a seemingly insurmountable 3-1 lead.
But before anyone involved could get settled down, Battle Mountain senior Roberto Diaz charged up the field and lofted a shot over Steamboat goalie Jake Andersen. Diaz ran right back into the net to retrieve the ball because the Huskies had new life.
Battle Mountain freshman Jesus Romero obviously took a cue from that. He went into the box from the right side and was taken down just a minute later. Huskies senior Brandon Osorio took the penalty kick and it was all knotted, 3-3, with both teams combining to score four goals in a three-minute span.
To its credit, Steamboat just picked up where it left off, methodically working the ball. In the 72nd minute, White and Kounovsky played a little give-and-go with the former scoring. After weathering an onslaught, the Sailors had a 4-3 lead.
As Cope often does, he threw everyone forward. With the clock ticking down, Steamboat did try to slow things down but could not play to the corners, and that gave the Huskies one last chance.
Sophomore Aaron Milligan took a Diaz pass and pushed it through with 30 seconds left in regulation, setting up a possible 20 minutes of overtime.
“That’s competitive sports,” Sailors coach Rob Bohlmann said. “That’s what makes you stronger. … We had our opportunities, and Battle Mountain was able to come back, and then we lose it in the second overtime. We’ll definitely grow from this as a team.”
It might be worth mentioning these two teams meet for Round 2 on Oct. 3 in Steamboat.
But before that, Steamboat has to make it past Eagle Valley at 6 p.m. Thursday at Gardner Field.
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