Steamboat’s Peyton Trask, center right, gets the ball out from under Battle Mountain’s Joe LyBarger during Thursday’s game at Battle Mountain High School in Edwards. Battle Mountain won, 3-2.

Dominique Taylor/Vail Daily

Steamboat’s Peyton Trask, center right, gets the ball out from under Battle Mountain’s Joe LyBarger during Thursday’s game at Battle Mountain High School in Edwards. Battle Mountain won, 3-2.

Steamboat soccer loses to Battle Mountain

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— Heivan against Steamboat — it’s becoming a familiar refrain. As a freshman last year, Battle Mountain’s Heivan Garcia scored a golden goal at Steamboat Springs to clinch the league title for the Huskies. On Thursday in Edwards, the sophomore scored two in the second half as the Huskies downed the Sailors, 3-2, throwing the chase for the Class 4A Western Slope League title between the two rivals into multiple tiebreakers.

“We keep him on ice for the whole season,” Huskies head coach David Cope joked about Garcia. “We bring him out for Steamboat games.”

In fairness to Garcia, the sophomore had two markers in a win against Cheyenne Mountain last month, but goals in the Battle Mountain-Steamboat rivalry seem to count a bit more.

The Sailors got out to a 1-0 lead on a Peter White goal assisted by Wilber Ranieri. The Huskies responded by changing their formation with three forwards and three defenders. And that produced a flurry of three Battle Mountain goals in the second half. The Huskies’ Nick Vossler won a scrum at the goal mouth and flicked it over to Sean Armitage for the equalizer.

Then came the goal of the night. Joe LyBarger crossed the ball beautifully to Garcia, and the sophomore launched a laser from 25 yards out to give Battle Mountain a 2-1 lead.

“That was fantastic,” LyBarger said. “Once he hit in the back of the net ,it was fist-pumping time.”

It also was time for LyBarger to assist Garcia one more time, and that became critical because Steamboat wasn’t done. Lance Ostrom scored in stoppage time and the Sailors’ Hanson Buchner had a chance to tie it in the waning moments, only to be stuffed by Huskies goalie Christian Espinoza.

“That’s what we said last night when we were talking with ... reporter (Luke Graham) back in Steamboat,” Sailors coach Rob Bohlmann said about a pregame article in the Steamboat Today. “‘What’s the difference in the game?’ It’s the team that’s a little more efficient in the penalty area. They were one goal more efficient.”

Get out your calculators

Battle Mountain is 7-1-1 in the league, and Steamboat sits at 6-1-1. The Huskies host Eagle Valley in league play Thursday while the Sailors have home games against the Devils on Tuesday and Moffat County on Thursday. The season series is split, so that tiebreaker is out the window. The next tiebreaker is who has best record against the third-place team in the league. The problem there is, who is going to finish third? The Huskies are rooting for Moffat County to take third because they swept the Bulldogs, and Steamboat has a draw and one game left against the Craig squad.

The Sailors would like to see Glenwood Springs surge late. The Sailors swept the Demons, while Battle Mountain went 1-0-1 against Glenwood. Glenwood is 4-4-1 with Palisade, a likely win, on Saturday remaining. Moffat is 4-3-1 with a likely win against Palisade on Tuesday and the season finale at Steamboat on Thursday.

If Glenwood and Moffat end up tied for third, the tiebreaker goes to goals allowed in league play. The Huskies would get the nod in that case. Steamboat has 12 goals against while Battle Mountain has only six.

These tiebreakers only come into effect if the Huskies and Sailors win their last league tilts, which is a big assumption. Funny things tend to happen in the least week of the regular season.

Both Battle Mountain and Steamboat host their regional rivals, Eagle Valley and Moffat, on Thursday, the last day of the regular season.

In the meantime, Battle Mountain hosts Basalt on Saturday in nonconference play, while Steamboat has Colorado Academy.

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