Soccer team goes down shooting

Coach Jeff Hammond was impressed Thursday with the way his team closed out its season.

"That was the game we were looking for," Hammond said. "Too bad we found it so late."

The Bulldogs fell 3-1 to league champions Battle Mountain. This go-round between the two was much more evenly matched than when they met Sept. 23 and the Huskies shut out the Bulldogs, 6-0.

"Emotions played a lot in this game," Hammond said. "Guys were pretty emotional as far as this was their last game of the season."

The Huskies came out and took an early 1-0 lead 14 minutes into the game on a goal by defenseman Alberto Hernandez.

The difference this time for the Bulldogs was that they didn't give up.

They came back to tie the game 1-1 on an angled shot by Armando Lopez at 20:00.

"Give Moffat County credit," Huskies coach Dave Cope said. "They came out and battled hard."

Cope could be heard after the game telling his team he thought they played sub-par, but that it was to be expected after clinching their third league title.

"It's natural to come out and let up," Cope said.

The Huskies played the first half aggressively and did a good job trapping balls along with attacking the net. But the Bulldogs did the same and then some, getting numerous scoring opportunities, but coming up just short.

"It was a fun game," Hammond said. "A close game."

Bulldog goalie Mike Lefler was on fire in the second half of Thursday's game, as the Huskies continued to pour on the shot attempts, and Lefler made some clutch saves for Moffat County.

"We played really good," Lefler said. "That was the best game, as a whole, we've played all season."

The Bulldogs used the second half to force freshman goalie Clint Hervert into making seven saves.

"We had more scoring opportunities in the second half," Hammond said.

Battle Mountain senior Erik Garcia said that the Huskies came in underestimating the Bulldogs, because of the last game they played.

"I think (the Bulldogs) played their best," Garcia said.

Garcia scored the game winner for the Huskies at 22:00 in the first half, on a solid direct kick past Lefler's left shoulder.

Cope said he was pleased with the quality of the goals that the Huskies scored.

"All the goals were good goals for us," Cope said.

What worried him was that not a single forward scored, all three of Battle Mountain's goals came from defensive players.

"It's kind of concerning," Cope said.

But on the other hand, he said, it's nice to see that anyone on his team can put one in the net.

"We don't have one guy with 12 goals, we have a bunch of guys with five or six goals," Cope said.

For Hammond, the season was a difficult one, but to finish on such a strong note was a glimpse into what next season may hold for Moffat County.

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