Left Hand Valley Courier - All Local, All The Time

By Jocelyn Rowley
Sports@lhvc.com 

Niwot blanks Standley Lake

 

March 21, 2018



The Niwot girls soccer team passed an early season test in the March 15 home opener with a 2-0 win over the Standley Lake Gators.

A long Kenzie Pasma free kick into the Standley Lake box bounced in front of sophomore Natalia Storz who chipped it past the Gator keeper to break a scoreless tie in the 68th minute. Six minutes later, senior Anna McCarthy netted her sixth goal of the year to seal the victory. On the other side of the ball, senior keeper Allie Colvin and the Niwot defense staved off a steady onslaught from the imposing Gators, but were ultimately able to keep them from scoring.

For Niwot head coach Stephen Dimit, his team’s persistence on both offense and defense were key factors in the Cougars’ second win of the year.

“For about 60 minutes, we were very, very patient just trying to keep the ball,” Dimit said. “We gave it away a little bit, but overall, we really dominated possession, and eventually that pays off.”

Niwot once again got contributions on offense from a number of underclassmen, including Maddie Borncamp and her freshman teammate Kiera Flanagan, who had Niwot’s best first half chance in the 24th minute. Storz was also an offensive threat for Niwot in the first half before a jarring collision with a Standley Lake defender forced the midfielder to the bench for an extended period.

Dimit prepared his team for a full-contact game after last season’s very physical matchup with the Gators, and the Cougars were ready to stand their ground.

“It was a chippy game, but I wouldn’t say it’s the most aggressive we’re going to see this year,” Dimit said. “For the most part, both teams just wanted to play hard.”

Niwot may have dominated possession, but Standley Lake made the most of its offensive chances, with nine total shots on goal, and half a dozen more that sailed just wide of the net. Niwot’s stalwart back line, anchored by the senior trio of Kenzie Pasma, Roxie Pasma and Nazary Ramirez, and joined by sophomore Lauren Cranny, fended off the worst of the attacks, and veteran keeper Colvin was there to pick up the rest. Nonetheless, it took a total team effort to finally wrestle the aggressive Gators into submission.

“We’ve been working really hard on making our back line really strong and working as a four, and connecting to our midfielders on the outside,” Roxie Pasma said. “With all the great runs that our midfielders made, it was really easy to play them to the side and just defend as a whole team. That really helped us out against their tall players.”

Pasma said she welcomed the physical game with Standley Lake, as it was a good rehearsal for a late-season run to the playoffs.

“Honestly, the way we’ve been practicing is really intense,” she said. “We’re really physical against each other, so we’re ready for games like this. I think it’s great to start the season out like this, so we’re ready for even more intense games down the road.”

Dimit agreed with Pasma’s assessment of his team’s holistic approach to defense.

“All across the field, we talk about it every day - ‘defend hard no matter who you are,’” Dimit said. “Everybody really stepped up today; in particular, the backline bent a little but didn’t break.”

Up next for the undefeated Cougars are a pair of grueling non-conference matches. On March 20, Niwot hosted cross-town rival Skyline, which beat the Cougars for the first time ever last year, then travels to Windsor on March 22, to face the top-ranked Wizards.

3/14 — Niwot 2, Standley Lake 0

Gators (1-1-1) 0 0 — 0

Cougars (2-0) 0 2 — 2

Goals — Natalia Storz, Anna McCarthy

Assists—Sage Marten, Elise Crall

Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Allie Colvin (80-0-9)

 

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