COLORADO SPRINGS – The last time Battle Mountain boys soccer stepped onto Weidner Field for the Class 4A state championship, the Huskies left heartbroken in the wake of a 3-0 loss to Northfield.

Never again.

During Saturday’s rematch between the two teams, in the very same venue, the Huskies rode the wave of a first-half goal from senior midfielder Leo Martinez, all while trying to punch holes in the momentum that heavily favored Northfield outside of a few key shots on goal from Battle Mountain.

One was all the Huskies needed, but they settled for two in the 2-0 shutout of a team that had only lost one game spanning the last three seasons. The Huskies envisioned it the moment they stepped off the pitch a year earlier.

“Losing in the state championship is tough,” junior keeper Ezequiel Alvarez said. “All year, we were talking. Our group chat and our Snapchat (message) was, ‘Run it back.’ We were talking about winning 4A this year, and it’d be better if we beat Northfield, which ended up happening.”

Battle Mountain’s defense never relented in the second half, when heavy pressure from Northfield’s offense constantly tested its resolve. The Huskies gave the Nighthawks no quarter, even as they came tantalizingly close to putting a number of shots in the goal.

(Alissa Noe)

The Husky defense had spent the entire week leading up to match honing its defense against headers and the long ball, much to the detriment of the Nighthawks.

“The boys are great,” Alvarez said. “We held up strong all game. I barely had any shots because of their shot stopping. They stopped all the shots.”

Senior striker Cooper Skidmore hammered the final nail in the coffin of the 2023 season with a goal of his own in the 71st minute, ending Battle Mountain’s 11-year championship drought.

“Getting to the final is not something that happens ordinarily,” head coach David Cope said. “You need some things to go your way, but I thought we had four dominant performances coming into today. And then today we had to ride our luck a little bit and we did. That’s what a final is all about.

“We recognize that we just beat one of the great high school teams that we’ve seen in the last couple of years. The run that they’ve had, it’s been incredible. Hats off to Northfield. I mean, they set the standard, and we tried to reach it. To shut that team out, it’s a great accomplishment. We’re so happy for the boys.”