DENVER — Wednesday night's second-round playoff game turned out to be a frustrating end to yet another strong season for the Legacy boys soccer team.
On the road at All-City Stadium in Denver, the 15th-seeded Lightning was eliminated from the Class 5A state tournament with a 1-0 loss to the No. 2-seeded Far Northeast Warriors. By the end of the infuriating contest, the Lightning players had received five yellow cards, the FNE Warriors players had received four and one Legacy assistant coach was sent off with a red card.
"Kudos to them, they're a good team," Lightning head coach Tony Romano said. "Truthfully, I thought we played well enough to win. We made one big mistakes defensively and when you do that against a good team, they're going to make you pay for it. Offensively, we had a ton of chances tonight that I thought for sure were going to be in the back of the net. It just didn't work out that way."
Three of the Lightning's best chances came in the first half, during which both teams put the ball on goal with regularity, but it was the Warriors (13-2-2) who struck first. Cutting behind the Lightning (11-5-1) back line to receive a well-placed through ball in the 57th minute, Warriors senior Brian Velasquez played the ball cleanly past second-half goalkeeper Brandon Hansen to score the game's only goal.
The Lightning created several more chances while clamoring to come up with an equalizer, including two short-range shots off corner kicks in the final minute that were saved by Warriors goalkeeper Brian Quinonez.
"I don't know how that goalie came up with those," Romano said. "I didn't even see him there at all. They did a great job of creating those chances and I'm proud of them for it. I think they worked really hard tonight. In the end sometimes, you need a little more luck than we had tonight and I think that was the difference."
Quinonez was the Lightning's greatest enemy, saving all eight shots on goal in the game.
Lightning goalkeeper Ivan Castillo, who played the first half, made five saves on Wednesday. Brandon Hansen, who played the second half, made four saves. The Lightning defeated No. 18 Aurora Central in the first round to reach Wednesday's game.
The FNE Warriors will play No. 7 Broomfield in the quarterfinals on Saturday.
FNE Warriors 1, Legacy 0
At All-City StadiumLegacy (11-5-1) 0 0 — 0
FNE Warriors (13-2-2) 0 1 — 1
Goals (assists) — FNE Warriors: Brian Velasquez, 57th minute.
Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Legacy: Ivan Castillo (40-0-5), Brandon Hansen (40-1-4); FNE Warriors: Brian Quinonez (80-0-8).