Eagle-Vail After every home game, the Battle Mountain soccer team has run across the field to salute its fans.
Moffat County got a chance to witness it firsthand Saturday.
When the final whistle blew on an 8-0 homecoming loss to the host Huskies, the Bulldogs had to watch them happily dive, slide and/or splatter across the wet turf of Phelan Field.
"I'd say it was a 10, an 11 actually," said Battle Mountain fullback Connor Tedstrom of the dives.
"I want to see us be able to replicate something like that on a snowy field in early November," Huskies coach David Cope said.
So far, so good on that count, coach. The Huskies moved to 7-1 in the 4A Slope and 9-2 overall with the easy win, and they now set their sights on huge games at Steamboat Springs on Tuesday and Saturday's rematch with Glenwood Springs in Eagle-Vail on Saturday.
Battle Mountain made itself comfortable in its first home night game since 2005 - a 2-0 win against Palisade - from the start.
Jair Molina had a hat trick. Patty Baskins, Connor Tedstrom, Hugo Parra, David Gonzalez and Tyler Madison all scored. Davy DeChant had a whopping four assists.
For Tedstrom, it was his first goal of the season, and technically his second of the game. The Huskies got a penalty kick in the 18th minute, and Tedstrom successfully converted it. However, the goal was waved off because a Battle Mountain player encroached on the kick.
"It was Jack" Sunderland, Tedstrom joked with his teammate within earshot. "He took my goal on the header, so I'm blaming him for this one."
A week ago against Rifle, the two went up for a header and it was the somewhat-shorter Sunderland who came away with the goal. Tedstrom got his, though. Moffat, which drew a deck of cards in the first half, handed Battle Mountain another P.K., and Tedstrom did the honors.
"I put it in the exact same spot," Tedstrom said. "I was just trying to pass it into the net just like (assistant coach) Kyle (Mercer) always says."
Although the game was decided in the first half, the Huskies got some lovely goals in the second 40. Leopoldo Rodriguez made a gorgeous run setting up DeChant, who flicked the ball to a wide-open Molina for an easy goal.
Parra scored on a nifty header off a DeChant corner, and Gonzalez scored short side on another corner from DeChant.
The bench, which was getting quite full because of the mercy rule, erupted when Tyler Madison roofed one late for his second goal of the year.
"I thought we scored some great goals in the second half," Cope said. "We're doing some good things. That bodes well for the playoffs. Those will be goals against any team. Those were quality goals."
Although the Bulldogs didn't score, they made a nice recovery from a first half during which they spent more time arguing with the refs than actually playing. Moffat County (1-8 WSL, 2-9 overall) did have a few scoring chances and has something upon which to build when it hosts Glenwood Springs Tuesday.
"Once they started having fun, they came alive," Bulldogs coach Rusty Cox said. "In the first half, they weren't having fun, and weren't letting go. The second half, I kept telling them, 'Have fun, have fun,' and they came out and played hard. I don't care what the score was. I had kids coming off (the field) laughing, and that's more important than the win."
As Cope noted after the game, any week when Battle Mountain is at Steamboat and home for Glenwood is a big one. This year, it's amplified. Eagle Valley, which beat Rifle, 6-2, Saturday, leads the league at 8-1, followed by the 7-1 Huskies. Steamboat (5-3) and Glenwood (5-2) are sitting on 15 points with games in hand and two weeks to play.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 748-2934 or email@example.com.