The number 10 seeded Fossil Ridge Sabercats gave the Legacy team all they could handle on a damp, feverish evening Nov. 6. However, as they have all year, the Lightning found a way in the 2-1 …
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The number 10 seeded Fossil Ridge Sabercats gave the Legacy team all they could handle on a damp, feverish evening Nov. 6.
However, as they have all year, the Lightning found a way in the 2-1 overtime victory to move on to the 5A state quarterfinals.
“Honestly — given the cold and the wetness — I was impressed with both team’s abilities to play a relatively technical game of soccer despite the conditions,” Legacy coach Anthony Romano said after the contest. “My hat’s definitely off to Fossil. As expected, they were very good. I kept telling my boys all week ‘you better be ready,’ and they were.”
Notched at 0-0 through the first half, both sides felt their way through the first 40 minutes, gaging how to approach one another. And to start the second half, Fossil Ridge (10-6-1) was on the attack.
After controlling time of possession for the first seven minutes of the new half, the Legacy defense and senior goaltender Brandon Hansen held down the fort. Keeping the FR attack outside of the goalie box, the Lightning defense continued their stellar play in giving Hansen the ability to sit near the net without the goalie’s visibility being blocked.
“Their (Fossil Ridge’s) attackers are very good individually. They combine very well, and they were a lot to handle. We did a good job 1-on-1 defending and our second defender was fantastic tonight,” Romano said.
Finally, finding flow on the other side of the field a few minutes later, a pass from senior Joey Joiner to senior Jack Mullins put the home team ahead with 17:49 remaining. The Sabercats, however, didn’t take long to respond.
One minute and 25 seconds later, a header from junior Seth Schilling on the beautiful pass by senior Caleb Schimmels put things at one apiece. Destined for overtime, that’s where we headed with everything on the line.
After a 10-minute intermission, the 15-minute first overtime frame didn’t even make it to the halfway point. Recording his team-high 18th goal of the season six minutes and 22 seconds in, senior Blake Hansen found the back of the net after streaking across the field and converting the left-footed shot. Hansen only played a handful of minutes in the second half and overtime, but the senior made his time count in helping his team live another day.
“That’s one of those challenges of coaching is trying to figure out what is best for your team, what’s best for your players while also factoring in safety,” Romano said. Blake had a little bit of an injury and that’s why you didn’t see him play as much. He wanted it. I tested him in the run, and eventually, I let him get some of those minutes, and he felt like he could handle it, and I let him do it. I gave him some trust, it was a little bit of a gamble, but it paid off.”
Facing rival Broomfield three days later, Legacy fell in a 5-4 shootout after tying 0-0 through regulation and overtime. Finishing the season 16-2, the Lightning couldn’t defeat the Eagles after taking the first match of the year 2-1 on Oct. 15.
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