Two days after being named the Class 5A No. 1 ranked team for the first time in program history, Legacy soccer stayed hot, clinching their fifth win in five tries to begin the 2019 season. The …
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Two days after being named the Class 5A No. 1 ranked team for the first time in program history, Legacy soccer stayed hot, clinching their fifth win in five tries to begin the 2019 season.
The Lightning scored three times in the second half of the conference opener against Rocky Mountain (2-3, 0-1 in conference) Sept. 18 to record the 3-1 victory.
Uncharacteristically, Legacy was held scoreless in the first half — the first time this season. Despite two shots hitting the post early, the Lightning bombarded the Lobos defense in the second frame in part to speed and adjustments made against their toughest opponent so far this year.
“I think they (Legacy) needed to make some tactical modifications to the game plan,” Legacy coach Anthony Romano said after the game. “Our first half — in truth — we didn’t stick to our game plan the way we needed to, and that was the conversation at halftime. They came out, quickly made a shift, and I was very impressed with them doing it so quickly, and it paid off.”
The first score came just three minutes and three seconds into the new half off the foot of senior Joey Joiner — jump-starting this potent offensive attack. Extending their lead four minutes later, a free kick score converted by senior Colten Armstrong outside the goalie box gave Legacy what felt like a commanding lead. However, 49 seconds later, Rocky Mountain put the margin back to one after forcing a penalty kick on a debatable call on a bang-bang play. All three scores allowed this season by the Lightning have come off penalty-shot makes from the opposing squad.
“Both of our goalies (seniors Brandon Hansen and Diego McClure) are very valuable to this team. First of all, they are both seniors, so there is that confidence that comes with being a senior and willing and able to communicate. Secondly, it is a big coaching point of ours to our goalkeepers that we need direction from you,” 11-year Legacy leader Romano said. “In addition to that, we also have some younger backs, so it even amplifies the fact that we need them to take charge in the back. Kudos to both of them, they are doing a good job of trying to be commanders.”
Adding the put-away blow and insurance goal with 21:52 remaining, senior Jake Maurek scored after a perfect touch-pass by senior Blake Hansen. Giving Legacy all the breathing room they needed, the Lighting gathered their third home win of the year.
“One of the things I think we can take away is the ability to stay in it. For example, when we gave up the goal, it’s 2-1, it’s anybody’s game. Obviously, Rocky (Mountain) was doing a great job of applying pressure. What I take from that is next time we are in a tight situation these boys will be able to make some good decisions tactically to lock it down. You know in the Front Range League we are going to see a lot of tight situations,” Romano said.
As three other Front Range teams (Boulder, Broomfield and Fossil Ridge) find themselves in the top 10 of the CHSAA 5A Boys’ Soccer Standings also, Legacy knows they will have their work cut out for them. But outscoring their opponents by 21 goals through only five games, Romano and this talented Lighting roster have to like their chances moving forward.
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