LONGMONT — Let's beat them to the punch, shall we?
That seemed to be the mentality of the Skyline soccer team on Monday night as they faced Longmont in a city rivalry game at Everly-Montgomery Field, a decisive 6-2 victory over the Trojans that put them on the right track heading into Tri-Valley League play.
After playing edge-of-your-seat soccer for four straight games, the Falcons had no intentions of letting Longmont hang around as they scored three goals in the first 10 minutes of play and never looked back, improving to 4-1-2 on the season.
The past four contests for SHS included a 2-0-2 record but three overtime games (one spilled into a second overtime) and a total goal count of four, but the start for the Falcons all but assured they'd escape Everly after 80 minutes of play on Monday.
What took more than 350 minutes to accomplish against Niwot, Windsor, Erie and Mitchell — scoring four — was matched by SHS in just about 20 minutes against the Trojans.
"It just feels good to score and put a lot back in the net after we missed so much the past few games, and I feel like we can have confidence moving forward," said senior striker Austin Gillies, who finalized a hat trick with a fortuitous bounce off the bar with just seconds to go in the contest. "A game like this helps you build yourselves up as a team, work together a lot and just help with decisions for when we might have harder and more intense games."
The Falcons were speedy on all areas of the pitch and also worked well in possession play, limiting Longmont (1-5-1) to two shots on goal in the first half and four overall. And they were able to take advantage of a still-adjusting LHS defense to get a lead.
Just three minutes in, Nathan Webb crossed a ball in for a Gillies header to make it 1-0, and the Falcons added a second score just three minutes later when Shjon Andrews worked the space he was given on the left side of the goal about 12 yards out. Another three minutes later, and Gillies managed to sneak another through in the run of play, and the Falcons added two more goals maintaining possession off corner kicks.
"We found the net early and it gave us the boost we needed to find more," Skyline coach Luis Chavez said. "We just know we have to keep scoring goals, because you can play great soccer and still come up empty. A lot of times, frustration sets in when you don't score on good chances, so I'm glad today was the exception of starting great early."
The Trojans, mired in an 0-4-1 slump since starting the year 1-1, did make it 4-2 after 55 minutes as strong countering attacks led to a pair of goals off the foot of Brandon Staple, but the Falcons managed to continue in their style of play to get a total of 12 shots on goal and keep LHS at a safe distance.
"There was that 10-to-15 minute span where we just disappeared after they got their first goal, and it was one of those things where it ended 2-2 after that 20," Longmont coach Andy Callaway said. "I felt we were there the first two or three minutes, making good passes and moving well.
"They had some great one-touch around us, something that we've been trying to work on, too. A lot of give-and-go around us."
Longmont will get one more non-league match in with Standley Lake on Wednesday (North Area Athletic Complex, 4 p.m.) before diving into Northern League play. Skyline's schedule includes hosting Holy Family at 4 p.m. on Wednesday.
Skyline 6, Longmont 2
At Everly-Montgomery StadiumSkyline (4-1-2)42—6Longmont (1-5-1)11—2
Goals (assists) — Skyline: Austin Gillies (Nathan Webb assist), 3rd minute; Skyline: Sjhon Andrews (Hector Rubi), 6th; Skyline: Gillies (Kevin Gutierrez), 9th; Skyline: Jose Medrano (Luis Bustos), 21st; Longmont: Brandon Staple (Orlando Suarez), 34th; Longmont: Staple (Alan Quintana), 55th; Skyline: Webb (Cooper Welsh), 61st; Skyline: Gillies (David Quiroz), 80th.
Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Skyline: Diego Chavez (68-2-1), Vinny Valdez (12-0-1); Longmont: Andy Mosqueda (80-6-6).