Left Hand Valley Courier - All Local, All The Time

By Jocelyn Rowley

Niwot rolls to 6-1 win over Brighton


August 30, 2018

Jocelyn Rowley

Senior Manny Tapia takes the ball upfield during Niwot’s season debut against Brighton on Aug. 21.

The Niwot boys soccer team rang in the 2018 season with a rousing home win over Brighton on Aug. 21. Led by senior Jonathan Jimenez-Flores’ first career hat trick, the Cougars scored six goals against the Bulldogs, a performance the forward hoped would set a tone for the year to come.

“It was a really good start to the season,” Jimenez-Flores said. “We lost a lot of seniors from last year, and it’s a really young back line, so we did pretty good for the first game.”

Jimenez-Flores ended the game with a career-high seven points, while fellow senior Manuel Tapia, Niwot’s leading scorer in 2017, had a goal and an assist. In all, six Niwot players tallied points in the debut, including juniors Manuel Soto and Austin Borncamp.

“We’re finishing well and creating lots of chances,” Niwot head coach Stephen Dimit said. “The guys are just hungry for goals, and that’s really good to see. We knew that attacking would be a strength, but I’m really surprised that we scored that many goals right away.”

The Cougars’ speedy offense found success early on, when sophomore Aidan Martin scored at the end of the second minute, followed shortly thereafter by Jimenez-Flores’ first goal of the game at 31:04. That did it for scoring in the first half, however, as the Bulldogs’ defense finally found its footing.

A pep talk at halftime got the offense back on track.

“They came out and really pressed us in the second half,” Dimit said. “It took us about 10 minutes to adjust to that, and then all the sudden we could just break through. I thought the guys did really well in the second half solving some of those problems that we created, and it was good to see them do that.”

Tapia struck first for Niwot in the second period on a penalty kick in the 45th minute, followed in quick succession by goals from Soto and another two from Jimenez-Flores.

“He’s come into the season fitter and sharper,” Dimit said of his second-year varsity forward. Jimenez-Flores had seven goals and six assists as a junior. “He had a great club season in the spring…It’s cool to see him put his stamp on the season already.”

Dimit was also happy to see a substantial contribution from his sophomore class, including Keegan Stobbe, who had an assist.

“Aidan scored really fast, and he’s capable of doing that all the time,” Dimit said of the wing, who had one goal in six varsity games as a freshman. “Keegan is just a workhorse. He works so hard in every game.”

Jocelyn Rowley

Manny Soto scored in the second half of Niwot’s season debut against Brighton on Aug. 21.

The newly minted Niwot defense also looked sharp in the opener, despite a lapse with just under three minutes to go that allowed Brighton to put one past senior keeper Mario Ramirez, who ended the game with nine saves. Overall, Dimit was pleased with the back line’s performance, but he admitted the defensive strategy has changed under the new regime.

“We’ve been talking a lot about patience, about playing smarter defense, and keeping guys out of one-vs-ones,” he said. “The one goal came off a whole bunch of one-vs-ones, and they weren’t really organized. So I think as long as we stay organized and keep our heads about us, we’re going to be just fine back there.”

The Cougars were back at home against Standley Lake on Aug. 28, then travel to Skyview on Aug. 30 and Skyline on Sept.4.


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