LONGMONT — Playing with a sense of urgency does not always pay off, but playing without any is more often costly than not.
For the Skyline soccer team, the lack of urgency just before halftime against Windsor was fatal on Wednesday afternoon — a contest which initially presented the Falcons with the chance to seize command of the Tri-Valley League.
Ian Hause's goal with 28 seconds left in the first half gave Windsor an unexpected lead, and the Wizards took advantage of SHS pushing forward late for a 3-0 win at the Skyline soccer field.
In one fell swoop, the Falcons went from undefeated for the season to a tie for first-place in the TVL — with these very same Wizards in what looks to be a two-team race.
"It was obviously just a bad game for us, and even though the boys worked hard we just didn't have our best composure," said head coach Luis Chavez, whose team is still 9-1 and will look to rebound at Mead on Monday. "The three goals, all of them, came down to our mistakes. It should have been a better game for us."
The game represented a rematch of a 2-1 Skyline win at Windsor on Sept. 8, the Falcons' third win in a row in the series. However, despite Skyline's solid possession play throughout Wednesday's game, the Falcons (7-1 TVL) were nowhere near the offensive juggernaut that has tallied three goals a game on average.
And when the late minutes of the first half were ticking away, the Falcons gave away a ball with a slow turn up-field, and Windsor (9-2, 7-1) countered with a nice cross from Jesse Waddell along the right wing into the center of the goal, where Hause was waiting in front of keeper Gabe Chavez with no other mark.
"We created chances the first half, and basically it was one single chance they created that was their goal," Chavez said. "They had pressure on us, but we still had the ball in a scoring area. We just did not put chances on frame."
"We were fortunate to take advantage of those mistakes this time, just like they were fortunate the last time," said Windsor coach Phil Weiser. "Anytime you score at the end of the half, it very much does swing momentum. I thought we started well, but the pendulum swung their way. So to get that first goal was huge."
In the second half, Skyline continued to possess but could not crack the Windsor defense.
Forced to push forward as a result with less than 15 minutes left in regulation, Windsor scored a pair of goals 3 minutes, 3 seconds apart on shoddy defensive play by the SHS back line and substitute goalie Noel Garcia, who was caught out too far on easy conversions by Waddell and Noah McKenzie.
It was the first time Skyline had failed to score less than two goals all season, and WHS keeper Josh Orellana was credited with just three saves. Skyline's best chance to tie the game came with about 21 minutes left, when Carlo Giordano got some pace on a turnaround kick just inside the 18-yard box. Orellana deflected the ball away right by the top corner, and the Falcons couldn't take advantage of the ensuing corner kick.
"We didn't play really strong ... but I think tomorrow coach will make practice really hard for us and we'll become better," Giordano, an Italian exchange student, said after the contest. "I want to score and I want to win. This was just a bad game."
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WINDSOR 3, SKYLINE 0
At Skyline HS
Windsor (9-2, 7-1) 1 2 — 3
Skyline (9-1, 7-1) 0 0 — 0
Goals (assists) — Windsor: Hause (Waddell assist), 40th minute; Windsor: Waddell (unassisted), 68th minute; Windsor: McKenzie (unassisted), 71st minute.
Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Windsor: Orellana (80-0-3); Skyline: Chavez (40-1-2), Garcia (40-2-4).