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Soccer: Niwot closes out regular season with tie in Longmont

 

October 27, 2017



Despite playing their “best soccer in two years,” the Niwot boys soccer team almost got more than it could handle from a Longmont Trojans squad still vying for a playoff spot in the last game of the regular season. An overachieving Trojans’ defense repeatedly stymied Niwot’s relentless attack during the rare night game at Everly Montgomery Field last Wednesday, and the Cougars barely escaped with a 1-1 tie.

“Score line aside, I was really happy with the way that we played for most of that game,” Niwot head coach Stephen Dimit said after his team’s fourth overtime game of the year. “Soccer wise, we dominated today.”

The Cougars generated plenty of chances on offense, particularly during the first half, but could not seem to get the ball in the net. Shot after shot went wide or high or right into the waiting arms of Longmont keeper Andy Mosqueda, who had a season-high 11 saves in the game.

Nor was there much to criticize on the other end of the field , save for a momentary lapse in the 25th minute that allowed Trojan senior Orlando Suarez to slip behind the defenders and get a shot past Cougar keeper Mario Munoz. After that, seniors Nicholas Grant, Tyler Crall, and Abel Marrufo clamped down, and held an increasingly frenzied Longmont attack at bay.

The Cougars spent most of the game pressing in Longmont’s third, but did not get on the board until the 71st minute, when senior Jason Rodriguez took a pass on the run from junior Manual Tapia and finally beat Mosqueda. The two continued to their attack on the Trojans for the next ten minutes, but time and again the shots missed their mark.

“Sometimes as a player you feel like you do everything right, but you just can’t get that last touch, and that last shot to fall,” said Dimit of his offense’s frustrating effort. “But we worked really hard for the tie, so I’m happy with that.”

The high-intensity game was also great preparation for the post-season, he added. “We showed the level of effort we’re going to need next week.”

Dimit said he remains confident heading into the Class 4A tournament, and any doubts he had about his offense were laid to rest on Monday against Mountain View, where the Cougars exploded for 10 goals.

“The front four guys, Manny, Jonny, Andreas and Jason, they can’t be stopped sometimes,” Dimit said after Niwot’s first rule-shortened game of the year. “They’re really in sync with each other.”

At least one of the four was involved in nine of Niwot’s ten goals. Tapia had a season-high 12 points on the day, with four goals and four assists, and Rodriguez had a goal and three assists. Junior Jonathan Jimenez-Flores had a goal and an assist, while Andreas Montealegre had two goals, including a header. Seniors Dylan Campbell and Cam Carlson connected for another goal, and freshman Keegan Stobbe scored his first varsity goal in the second half.

After the game, Montealegre echoed Dimit’s positive assessment of the Cougars’ post-season readiness, and predicted a deep Niwot run in the playoffs. “Our movement was very nice, and every play, every goal showed that we can be at that next level…I think everybody knows that we’ve got something special here.”

In the Class 4A playoff bracket released Sunday, Niwot was the No. 3 seed and will face No. 30 seed Erie (7-8) at home on Oct. 25 at 3:30 p.m. The winner of that game will advance to face the either No. 14 seed Battle Mountain (12-3) or No. 19 seed Northridge (9-5-1) on Oct. 31.

10/16 —Niwot 10, Mountain View 0

Cougars (12-1-1, 5-1) 6 4 — 10

Mountain Lions (4-8-2, 2-3-2) 0 0 — 0

Goals —Tapia (4), Montealegre (2), Campbell, Jimenez-Flores, Rodriguez, Stobbe

Assists — Grant, Montealegre

Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Mario Munoz (80-0-3)

10/18 —Niwot 1, Longmont 1 (2OT)

Cougars (12-1-2, 5-1-1) 0 1 0 0 — 1

Trojans (4-8-2, 2-3-2) 1 0 0 0 — 1

Goals — Rodriguez

Assists — Tapia

Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Mario Munoz (80-20-1-6)

 

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