Battle Mountain’s Bridgett Courtois and Steamboat’s Tatum Sear fight for the ball as they rush downfield Thursday in a game in Steamboat Springs. Battle Mountain took a 2-0 lead in the first half, and that lead held up, the Huskies grabbing a key 2-1 early-season win.

Photo by Joel Reichenberger

Battle Mountain’s Bridgett Courtois and Steamboat’s Tatum Sear fight for the ball as they rush downfield Thursday in a game in Steamboat Springs. Battle Mountain took a 2-0 lead in the first half, and that lead held up, the Huskies grabbing a key 2-1 early-season win.

Battle Mountain downs Steamboat girls soccer, 2-1

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— Battle Mountain freshman Logan Nash admitted shyly that she doesn’t know a lot about the soccer rivalry with Steamboat Springs. 

Nash knew several of the freshman on the Steamboat junior varsity team from going to camps. Outside that, she didn’t know much about the Western Slope’s two pre-eminent soccer programs.  

If Nash continues to play like she did Thursday, notching a goal and proving to be the best player on the field, she’ll know plenty about the rivalry. 

Nash’s early goal and a late defensive surge helped the Huskies take Round 1 on Thursday, as Battle Mountain squeaked by with a 2-1 victory. 

“I knew nothing about them,” Nash said. “But this was fun. I look forward to the games ahead against them in the next four years.” 

Steamboat, however, probably won’t say the same. 

The Sailors had plenty of opportunities but never could convert. Steamboat senior Sydney Bauknecht hit the post twice, and the Sailors failed to convert on two free kicks right outside the penalty box. 

“We feel great about the effort the girls put in,” Steamboat coach Rob Bohlmann said. “It was one of those games where Battle Mountain got the result.” 

The Huskies got the scoring going in the eighth minute when Nash won a ball at midfield and burst past a couple of defenders. She left-footed one just inside the opposite post. Just moments later, a similar try from the other side went just wide.

“She’s pretty dynamic and exciting,” Battle Mountain coach Dave Cope said about Nash.  

Then Battle Mountain got a little luck. In winning the toss before the game, the Huskies had the option of which end they wanted to play. The Huskies chose to defend the west side of the field, leaving Steamboat’s players to look into the setting sun. 

In the 13th minute, Haille Hogfeldt fired a shot to the short side from just outside the right box. 

Steamboat keeper Hannah Barkey didn’t see the shot, and Battle Mountain found itself up 2-0. 

The sun “was difficult to deal with,” Bohlmann said. “It was a delayed reaction and tough to deal with.”

Finally in the 29th minute, Steamboat’s Tatum Sear settled a ball at her feet and sailed one in to cut the lead to 2-1.

From there, the Sailors mounted attack after attack, but never could quite breach the Huskies defense. 

“At the end, we were just holding on,” Cope said. “But in this league, a win on the road is always a big thing.”

Steamboat (4-1 overall, 1-1 in the Western Slope League) continues play at 11 a.m. Saturday at home against Eagle Valley. 

Battle Mountain (2-2, 2-1) next plays at 11 a.m. Saturday at Palisade. 

To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229 or email lgraham@SteamboatToday.com

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