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Luke Meadows is always coaching his Legacy girls soccer team and often takes time to converse with players when they come off the pitch for a substitution.That’s his style of coaching which has been successful as the Lightning rebounded from a 6-7-2 record in 2016 and finished this campaign with a 15-3-0 mark after a 4-1 loss to Mountain Vista on May 17 in a Class 5A quarterfinal game at Shea Stadium in Highlands Ranch.“Players that get subbed maybe sometimes think it is because they did something wrong,” explained Meadows. “Or why am I coming off? So an immediate comment at the moment can be critical and when they are rested we can get them back on.”Legacy won seven of eight games prior to the quarterfinal match against Vista and had hopes of winning the state championship.“It was a good season in terms of the results,” said Meadows. “Every week, every game, every opponent was kind of a new puzzle so it was a constant chess match. We play so many league games in the Front Range League that our opponents know each other pretty much inside and out. It’s very difficult for us to manipulate a schedule outside the league so our league is a battle not only physically but also in terms of that chess match.“It was a rewarding season because we got a lot of results that last year we struggled to get. I’m very proud of this group because there are 63 5A teams, 32 make the tournament and only one goes home happy. So 15-3 isn’t anything to hang your head about.”Junior Gracie Armstrong scored on a free kick in the 29 minute for Legacy’s only goal against the Golden Eagles which dominated and pulled away in the second half with two goals.Armstrong’s goal pulled the Lightning to within 2-1 and gave the visitors momentum.“I talked to the girls about it being a game of moments,” added Meadows. “How would we respond? If you give a girl an inch, she’ll take a mile especially against quality players and they had a lot of them. They made the most of their chances.”Armstrong wrapped up the season as the leading 5A scorer with 67 points on 26 goals and 15 assists.“Personally I pushed myself and did all I could for the team,” said Armstrong. “Last year we didn’t make it to the playoffs and this year we wanted it. Our goal was to get to state and win it because Legacy has never won one before but that didn’t happen. Next year we’ll try harder and push for our goal.”Achieving that goal is a possibility.“We lose seven seniors which is never easy to deal with regardless of how much they did or didn’t play,” said Meadows. “Those seven were impact players and leaders on the team.“We do return the bulk of the starting lineup. We have a lot of junior varsity girls that have State Cup experience and next year we might be more competitive. It’s unfortunate because we really did have a shot (to win state) this year and put ourselves in the right position.”
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