Left Hand Valley Courier - All Local, All The Time

By Jack Carlough
Editorial@lhvc.com 

Niwot boys soccer has the leadership to go far

 

August 22, 2019

Photo by Jocelyn Rowley 2019 Seniors: (back row, from left) Austin Borncamp, Connor Carlson, Andy Worrell, Jared Osteen, Nicholas Haratsaris (front row) Ethan Hansen, Caleb Serrette, Manuel Soto, Chris Yan, Daniel Cho (front) Pancho Rodriguez (photobomb) Keegan Stobbe

A strong upper class will help the Niwot Cougars boys soccer team vie for a Northern League championship. Led by head coach Stephen Dimit, the Cougars have the leadership and work ethic to make 2019 exciting.

Finding consistency was something the Cougars struggled with last year. A talented, but young team produced a 9-7-1 record, good enough for fourth in the Northern League. Fortunately for the Cougars, they’ll be returning their leading scorer from last year, junior Keegan Stobbe, as well as juniors Ismael Dominguez and Aidan Martin.

“They’ve been playing together for a number of years now,” Dimit said. “...They’re a really dangerous trio, they’re quick and they’re smart, and they’re all really, really aggressive, I think I’d put them up with anybody in the state.”

Along with the dangerous trio is junior Connor Grant. According to Dimit, he’s developed into a strong midfielder and big things are expected in 2019. Senior Jared Osteen is also one of Niwot’s more talented players.

“Osteen is another player who started a lot of games but he’s never looked better,” Dimit said. “The game has just kind of slowed down for him, he does something pretty amazing every practice right now.”

One of the few question marks for the team is the goalie position. The team graduated three-year starter Mario Munoz last season and according to Dimit, the spot is up for grabs in 2019. He’s looking towards senior Panhco Rodruguez or junior Malay Gangwar to battle for the position. The Cougars will have about a week of practice to determine who will claim the ever-important goalie position.

“These guys worked really hard in the offseason to become better,” said Dimit. “It’s been exciting to kind of see a lot of that new skill and that new understanding of the game kind of show up, particularly between the sophomore and junior year.”

A strong season is well within this team’s capabilities, and so is the drive to improve. “I think the expectation to win is always there,” said Dimit. “But you know for me, this is what I tell the guys, a successful season is more than that, you’re just getting better every single game and generally you know we’re in a spot where if we can do that, the wins are gonna come.”

At Dimit’s side will be veteran assistant coach Brett Butrick and first-year assistant with the boys, Belle Morel. Butrick will head the junior varsity program and Morel, who also coaches the girl’s soccer program, will be leading the freshman/sophomore squad. Dimit will have a little more time this year, as he will be stepping away from the girl’s program where he was head coach for three seasons.

“I think people should come out and watch us because we’re fun,” said Dimit. “…We play entertaining soccer, I think anybody that wants to come out and enjoy a game, we go out and try to win every single game, we win or we lose in style.”

The Cougars will kick things off next Tuesday, August 27th at Brighton High School.

 

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