Steamboat Springs junior Peter White goes head to head with Battle Mountain's Joe LyBarger in the first half of Tuesday night's soccer game at Gardner Field. The Sailors lost, 5-0.

Photo by John F. Russell

Steamboat Springs junior Peter White goes head to head with Battle Mountain's Joe LyBarger in the first half of Tuesday night's soccer game at Gardner Field. The Sailors lost, 5-0.

Steamboat Springs soccer easily beaten by Battle Mountain

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Steamboat Springs soccer player Hanson Buchner sprints past the Battle Mountain defense in the first half of Tuesday night's soccer game at Gardner Field.

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Steamboat Springs soccer player Nathan DePuy passes the ball to a teammate in the first half of Tuesday night's soccer game at Gardner Field. The Sailors lost, 5-0.

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Steamboat Springs soccer player Logan Banning fights Battle Mountain's Broby Leeds in the first half of Tuesday night's soccer game at Gardner Field.

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Steamboat Springs player Peyton Trask controls the ball in the first half of Tuesday night's soccer game at Gardner Field.

— Overwhelming.

It’s an adjective a lot of soccer teams will utter this year to describe Battle Mountain.

Speed and an attacking style of play inharmoniously welcome opponents. The Huskies press eight players into the offensive zone, leaving just two back. Pretty goals simply follow five, six, seven, eight and even nine pass buildups.

And in a classic rivalry usually reserved for late game heroics, this one was over quick. Battle Mountain trounced Steamboat on Tuesday, picking up an easy 5-0 win.

“They have the rigors of the rest of the season to go,” Steamboat coach Rob Bohlmann said. “But I think they have potential to be — as I said preseason — they’re tremendous. They have a lot of potential for sure.”

That potential was on full display Tuesday.

After Steamboat came out early and looked to make it a defensive game, the Huskies quickly took a defender out and added another attacker.

“As we made that change, we scored,” Huskies coach Dave Cope said.

It came off senior Joe LyBarger’s foot in the 14th minute for a 1-0 lead. Ten minutes later, Diego Rodriguez found LyBarger in the same spot, with the senior again cutting the ball back to the opposite post for a 2-0 lead.

Steamboat did well in the first half limiting Battle Mountain’s chances, but the Sailors never could take control of the midfield the way they did in the first three contests.

Still in the game, Steamboat tried to become a more attacking force in the second half. It was for naught, however, as the Huskies ran out an endless stable of playmakers.

Heivan Garcia settled the ball and worked it to the top of the box in the 48th minute before ripping a shot past Jake Anderson for a 3-0 lead.

Then in the goal of the game, after a Steamboat corner, Battle Mountain pounced on a counter attack. Roberto Diaz raced the ball up the middle of the field and laced a perfect ball to LyBarger, who had sprinted 80 yards on the counter, just inside the left box. LyBarger hit a perfect low cross to Garcia, who one-touched it for a 4-0 lead.

Finally, in the 71st LyBarger pounced on his own penalty kick, barreled on net and pounded home his third goal of the game.

For a Battle Mountain team that fell in the quarterfinals last year, it seems the team is on a mission this year.

With most of the team returning and the 16 seniors making it the biggest class in Huskies history, there is a sense that big things await.

Cope wouldn’t reveal goals, but said this team is talented and would welcome a matchup with Evergreen in the playoffs.

Evergreen has beat Battle Mountain in the playoffs the past three seasons.

“This group, we’re not physically dominant,” he said. “But we expect to have most of the ball, most of the games we play. That’s our mantra. Can we get the ball, keep the ball and do things with the ball. We’re pretty explosive.”

For Steamboat, it’s all about getting healthy. The Sailors have juggled lineups and missed several players.

But neither team can get too ahead of itself.

Steamboat (3-1 overall, 2-1 in the Western Slope League) plays at 6 p.m. Thursday at home against Summit. The game looks to be an early battle for second place in league.

Battle Mountain (3-0, 2-0) plays at 6 p.m. Thursday at Glenwood Springs.

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

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