LONGMONT — The Skyline boys soccer team has reached the postseason in eight straight seasons under head coach Luis Chavez.
Early on in that streak, there were five straight seasons from 2010-14 in which the Falcons qualified for the playoffs only to get bounced in the first round. They have broken that trend in the several years since.
Last season the Falcons reached the Class 4A state quarterfinals, losing in overtime to eventual champion Air Academy. On Wednesday, the ninth-seeded Falcons (13-2-1) won 3-0 over the 24th-seeded Northridge Grizzlies (12-4) in the first round of the 2018 playoffs.
The Falcons have officially broken free of their first-round woes and have begun a new trend during which they have now advanced past the first round in three of the past four years.
"I truly believe that it's the culture that has been building up to this point," Chavez said. "Every generation, every group that has been coming through this program since I started has left some good prints to follow with their attitude, their mentality, their passion and their skill. Especially this season, we've just followed what came before. This was the first step and we're going to go as far as we can go."
Playing at home in front of a large crowd befitting the four-game win streak they rode into the postseason, the Falcons took a while to find their rhythm against the Grizzlies.
It wasn't until junior Gabriel Sosa broke free on a long run in the 33rd minute, beat the last defender and a sprawling goalkeeper that the Falcons broke a scoreless tie. With a one-goal lead coming out of halftime, the Falcons scored quickly thanks to a goal from senior Faolan Moore in the 43rd minute.
With his team up a pair of goals, senior Emmanuel Flores scored his team a third in the 58th minute and the Falcons held on to win.
"I feel like we had a rhythm early, we just couldn't execute," Chavez said. "We created several chances and kept the ball in their half for the most part. We had good possession, a good level of intensity but I think we just weren't making the best choices. But as we continue to be cohesive, we started to make the plays and find some success."
The Falcons will play the winner of the first-round game between No. 8 Cheyenne Mountain and No. 25 Regis Groff, which began at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, in the second round on Oct. 30.
Skyline 3, Northridge 0
At Skyline H.S.Northridge (12-4) 00—0Skyline (13-2-1) 12—3
Goals (assists) —Skyline: Gabriel Sosa, 33rd minute; Faolan 43rd minute; Emmanuel Flores, 58th.
Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Northridge: Ethan Harkless (80-3-7); Skyline: Diego Chavez (80-0-3).