LONGMONT — Experiencing the way in which the Skyline boys soccer team has built on its success in each of the past four seasons, the Falcons have developed exceedingly high expectations for themselves.
The Falcon won nine games in 2012, 11 in 2013, 13 in 2014 and 15 in 2015. Through the first two thirds on the 2016 season, the Falcons are 8-2 and are well on their way to another successful season and third 4A Tri-Valley League title in four years.
But even during the program's resurgent six-year span under head coach Luis Chavez, a deep playoff run has eluded the Falcons, who have not made it past the second round of the state tournament. This year's Falcons feel they have as good a shot as any previous club, maybe even a better one.
"I think we've definitely shown a lot of improvement so far," Falcons senior Joseph Wanninger said. "Overall, we've just continued to play at a higher level throughout the year. We definitely want to make the playoffs, win conference and we'd like to see another home playoff game. But we really want to win that first game. We want to win the next one and maybe even another one after that. We're really talking about a deep playoff run this year."
The Falcons (8-2, 5-0 Tri-Valley) have had a few lulls but, for the most part, played well throughout a tough non-league schedule and have run through the first half of the Tri-Valley League season at a torrid pace. After beating Berthoud 10-0 last week and trouncing Frederick (3-7, 3-2 Tri-Valley) by a score of 11-0 on Monday, the Falcons have won their first five conference games by a combined score of 34-1.
Against Frederick, Falcons senior Dawson McCawley had a hat trick. Austin Gillies scored twice, as did Alex Bennett, who also had three assists, and Wanninger. Luis Bustos and Manuel Macias scored the Falcons' other two goals.
"I think this is the most solid group I've had since I started," Chavez said. "It's the most well-rounded. We just need to keep working on the mentality that we need to be strong and determined. The execution has to continue to be there. We have a lot of talented guys but we need to not rely on that and continue to play as a unit."
Senior Alexis Rios scored the only goal for Frederick, a club that held its own against No. 4-ranked Mullen three days prior.
"Sometimes we play fantastic and sometimes we play like we played today," Warriors coach J Doehring said. "It honestly just depends on which Frederick team shows up."
Skyline will continue league play on the road Wednesday against Roosevelt. Frederick will host Windsor on Wednesday.
Skyline 11, Frederick 1
At Skyline H.S.Frederick 0 1 — 1
Skyline 3 8 — 11
Goals — Frederick: Alex Rios; Skyline: Dawson McCawley 3, Alec Bennett 2, Joseph Wanninger 2, Austin Gillies 2, Luis Bustos, Manuel Macias.
Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Frederick: Abraham Rios (30-3-7), Marcos Vota (35-6-8), Sebastian Palmeras (15-2-4); Skyline: Diego Chavez (50-0-1), Vinnie Valdez (30-1-1).