Defensive display in defeat


Hot off their 3-1 win on Saturday, the Moffat County girls came out charging against Battle Mountain on Tuesday, playing tough and physical against the talented Huskies, who boast an 11-1-1 record.

"[Moffat County] came out very motivated and excited, contesting every ball. Both ways they were competitive. They even dominated at times," Battle Mountain coach Dave Cope said.

Unfortunately, the Bulldogs could not keep the intensity up for the entire game, falling 5-0 to a team that ranks second in the Western Slope League.

With solid defense held together by junior goalkeeper Heather Brown, who made 14 saves on the day, and the veteran core of seniors Megan and Jenna Cook and Jessica Uecker, Moffat County shut down the Battle Mountain offense for the first 29 minutes of the game.

"For the first 30 minutes, we had confidence, our passing was huge, and we controlled the ball well," Megan Cook said.

Battle Mountain's Stephanie Walker eventually found a seam in the defense, crossing the ball to Julia Burnett to put the Huskies on the board.

"The 'D' I thought did a good job rotating back and marking better, covering better. We really hung in there in the first half. Then they scored that first goal, and we did the whole head-drop thing," Moffat coach Jim Loughran said.

While keeping up the high pressure physical play in the second half, the Moffat defense struggled to contain the finesse play of Battle Mountain junior strikers Burnett and Kelsey Sanders, who did all of the Huskies' scoring, putting two and three goals on the board, respectively.

"She's just lethal with the ball," Cope said of Burnett, who along with Sanders has broken Battle Mountain's record for goals scored in a single season.

Having learned the valuable lesson of what it takes to control a "lethal" scoring tandem, the 3-8 Moffat girls have a good chance to keep playing this dominating defense in the final leg of their season-four home games that Loughran thinks should all be extremely competitive and well-matched.

Moffat plays Palisade at 4 p.m. Thursday at Moffat County High School.

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