Photo by Brian Ray
Steamboat's Mia Quick, left, and Battle Mountain's Kelly VanHee vie for possession of the ball during the match at Gardner Field in Steamboat Springs on Saturday. Battle Mountain defeated Steamboat, 2-0.
Steamboat Springs Battle Mountain girls soccer coach Dave Cope allowed for a little different post-game activity after Saturday's 2-0 victory against chief rival Steamboat Springs.
Cope, who normally talks about the next opponent after a game and pounds home key points, took a new angle.
The Huskies coach didn't mention Thursday's opponent, Delta. Instead, Cope allowed his Huskies and their 10 seniors to take in the program's first-ever victory in Steamboat.
"I decided to let the girls enjoy the moment," Cope said. "This is a huge accomplishment, so we're letting the girls bask in it. For now, we just wanted to let the girls enjoy this game. On Monday, we'll start looking at Delta."
From the outset, Battle Mountain showed why it will be the team to beat, again, in the Western Slope League.
The Huskies controlled the ball for much of the first half and got a goal from Marisa Ammaturo in the seventh minute to go up, 1-0.
Ammaturo repossessed the ball just outside of the Steamboat box and unleashed a drive from 25 yards out that just grazed the hands of Sailors goalie Hanna Berglund.
"Not a lot of girls would have the confidence to rip a shot from 25 or 30 yards out," Cope said. "But as we've talked about, you miss 100 percent of the shots you don't take."
Battle Mountain continued to control the pace of play until the 45th minute. That's when Steamboat - a team with just two seniors - started to gain possession.
The Sailors' best chance for an equalizer came in the 46th minute, when sophomore Mia Quick crossed a ball that was just deflected out of the Huskies' box.
"It was definitely better. Attacking was our sole focus at halftime," Steamboat coach Rob Bohlmann said. "We said, 'let's not play neutrally. Let's not play negatively, but let's play positively.'"
Despite controlling the ball, Steamboat continued to struggle with getting shots off against the Battle Mountain defense.
The Sailors took only three shots on goal, and just one in the first half.
"We've been superb defensively all year," Cope said. "We haven't allowed a goal yet. So we thought if we could get a second (goal), it was pretty unlikely they were going to score three."
That second goal came in the 74th minute, when Ammaturo crossed a corner kick to Lizzie Seibert, who headed it home.
"Lizzie and I have a connection," Ammaturo said. "Whenever I send a corner her head just seems to find the ball. I yelled out Lizzie, kicked it and it went in."
Steamboat had one last opportunity, but Quick was ruled offside, thwarting a Sailors chance in the 78th minute.
"I think right now we're still working on confidence of our younger players," Steamboat senior Miranda Schrock said. "But we're getting more comfortable each day. The more we play with each other, by the next Battle Mountain game we'll be ready."
Steamboat plays next at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday at home against Glenwood Springs. Battle Mountain readies for a 4 p.m. home contest with Delta.