In the first 10 minutes Nov. 1 against Grand Junction in the opening round of the 5A state playoffs, Legacy dominated despite not finding the back of the net on six quality shots. However, a …
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In the first 10 minutes Nov. 1 against Grand Junction in the opening round of the 5A state playoffs, Legacy dominated despite not finding the back of the net on six quality shots.
However, a continued push and domination over 80 minutes moved the No. 1 seed to the next round with a 4-0 victory on a brisk, November afternoon.
“Being assertive and starting strong showed them that we are not just going to go through the motions, but that you’re really going to have to show up when you play against us,” Legacy coach Anthony Romano said after the win. “I think they (Grand Junction) did a great job — I was impressed with them tonight — but with that said, our energy and overall quickness was a little too much for them to handle this evening. It took us a little bit to find the back of the net, but ultimately the pressure set the tone, and it was only a matter of time.”
Finding the back of the net, finally, a deflection off the leg of senior Blake Hansen proved gold for senior Jake Maurek — following the shot and giving the Lightning the advantage in the 22nd minute.
Tallying another goal three minutes and two seconds later, an assist from Hansen to senior Joey Joiner on the give-and-go put the home team up 2-0 going to halftime.
Two more goals in the second half from senior Colten Armstrong and Hansen at in the 47th and 60th-minute respectively put the icing on the cake for an offensive unit that tallied 26 shots. Hidden in the impressive offensive performance was the play of the defense that continues to improve every contest — allowing just two shots on goal against the Tigers.
“Scoring goals is great, and you need it, and we can do that, but that’s only half of the picture. This defensive group has come a long way throughout the season,” Romano said. “The defenders, the whole group, are doing great jobs in coming along and getting better each game we play.”
All of this success of the back end was without starting senior Anthony Quidachay — who left the night before to continue his play for the U19 Guam National Team. Stepping into his place, junior Jorden Wehrly didn’t skip a beat, playing all 80 minutes in Quidachay’s place.
Another standout that didn’t necessarily stand out on the stat sheet was senior midfielder, Ryan Bennett. Controlling pace in the middle of the field for Romano’s team, the quick-footed veteran placed his imprint all over this first-round matchup in helping his team advance.
“Ryan Bennet is our unsung hero. He’s absolutely our workhorse in the middle, and he’s a pivotal part of what we do as a team. He is a fantastic player, and I can’t speak highly enough of him. He helps connect our defense going forward, and he’s just tireless and a fantastic worker. I think maybe more than any player in my career; he spins like a top. He turns on a dime. I’ve been watching him do it for three years, and every time he does it, I go `wow,’ it’s amazing.”
Hoping to keep their magical season alive, Legacy will host No. 16 seed Fossil Ridge (10-5-1) Nov. 6 at North Stadium.
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