Left Hand Valley Courier - All Local, All The Time

By Jocelyn Rowley

Niwot tops Skyview 3-1 in season opener


August 30, 2017


Photo by Ed Navarro Niwot’s Andres Montealegre advances the ball against Skyview.

The Niwot boys soccer team cleared the first hurdle on its path to the post season with a 3-1 victory over the visiting Skyview Wolverines in their season debut Aug. 24.

Niwot was aggressive on the attack out of the gate, and kept the ball in the Skyview third for most of the first half. The front three generated several scoring chances for the Cougars, and finally got on the board when junior forward Manual Tapia punched in a centering pass from senior wing Andres Montealegre in the 20th minute. With less than five minutes to go in the half, senior forward Jason Rodriguez netted his first score of the season, and Niwot took a 2-0 lead into the break.

Skyview flipped the script in the second half, coming out with a strong attack of its own. With the wind at their backs, the Wolverines were able to contain play to the Niwot third, but couldn’t get the ball past the Cougar defense and keeper Mario Munoz, despite numerous chances. Skyview’s lone goal of the day came in the 70th minute on a penalty kick by sophomore Bryan Uribe, which made the score 2-1.

Skyview pressed its attack as the final minutes ticked away, but the Cougars protected their lead, despite some tense moments. Tapia and Montealeagre connected for an insurance goal with less than 20 seconds to play, sealing the 3-1 win for the Cougars.

Following the game, head coach Stephen Dimit was happy to come away with the victory, but had a mixed review of the team’s performance.

“We had a really strong first half,” said Dimit, who is entering his second year at the helm. “Both Jason and Manny were absolutely brilliant in the game.

I thought we possessed well, we worked the wing well, we did everything we intended to do,” he continued. “It was an excellent half of soccer.”

Not so much for the next forty minutes, according to the coach, at least on offense. “The second half…probably some things to clean up. We could have possessed the ball much better.”

In the backfield, the Cougars were in midseason form. Anchored by junior Munoz and senior defender Abel Marrufo, the Niwot defense shut out the Wolverines in the first half, and then rebuffed their bold attack in the second. Munoz ended the day with seven saves on eight shots.

Up next for the Cougars is another tough non-conference match against Holy Family on Aug. 31. Last year, Niwot beat the Tigers 1-0 in an “ugly” lightning-shortened game, a loss Dimit thinks they will be looking to avenge.

“It should be an interesting one,” Dimit said. “They only graduated three people, so I expect them to be a strong, strong team.”

8/24 — Niwot 3, Skyview 1

Wolverines (0-1) 0 1 — 1

Cougars (1-0) 2 1 — 3

Goals — Manuel Tapia (2), Jason Rodriguez

Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Mario Munoz (80-1-7)


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