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Soccer preview: Legacy Lightning ready to storm Front Range League

Legacy soccer went through a nasty run in 2010.

Despite fielding one of the state’s stingiest defenses, the team finished toward the bottom of the Front Range League and failed to earn a berth to the Class 5A state tournament. But with one of their most-experienced and oldest rosters in a spell, the Lightning have the potential and intention of taking Colorado’s largest classification by storm.

“If we fine-tune a few things and play consistently, I definitely believe we can shoot for the top of our conference, and perhaps even more,” coach Tony Romano said.

Defense, once again, is Legacy’s ace in the hole, with a strong cast of backfield players on the roster. Danny Mooney, J.D. Goracke and Kyle Morrow were the impetus of the Lightning only allowing 17 goals last season. And with Garrett Hernandez back in the net, the trio of defensemen should be that much more frustrating.

Important as defense is to big seasons, the Lightning’s offense is where the team should make its breakthrough in 2011. Finishing held Legacy back last year, but with leading scorers Tanor Rainwater and Jacob Gonzales back on the roster, the team has the spearhead of its attack. And with forward Shawn Rusk and midfielder John Hyatt finding their grooves entering the year, the Lightning might have all the makings of an aggressive offense.

Goal scoring is the biggest, but not the only challenge the Lightning face. The team also has a stacked conference schedule, with limited opportunity to gear up before Front Range League play. Legacy must find its top gear from the get-go, with only four non-conference outings before conference play.

LEGACY

League: Front Range. Champion: Boulder 16-2-1.

Coach: Tony Romano (third season).

2010 results: 5-7-3, did not qualify for Class 5A state tournament.

Returning varsity players: Dreese Marrakchi, MF, Jr.; Danny Mooney, Def./MF, Jr.; John Hyatt, MF/Fwd., Sr.; Nick Smith, MF, Sr.; Kyle Morrow, Def., Sr.; Nathan Horesh, MF, Sr.; Shawn Rusk, Fwd., Jr.; J.D. Goracke, Def., Jr.; Tanor Rainwater, Fwd., Sr.; Jacob Gonzales, Fwd., Sr.; Zach Schmacht, GK, Sr.; Garrett Hernandez, GK, Sr.

Future contributors: Ryan Marquez, MF, Jr.

2010 statistical leaders: Goals — Tanor Rainwater/Jacob Gonzales 5. Saves — Garrett Hernandez 41.

Schedule:

Sept. 6 Arvada West 6 p.m.

Sept. 8 @Prairie View TBA

Sept. 12 @Pomona 6 p.m.

Sept. 17 @Green Mountain noon

Sept. 20 @Boulder 6 p.m.

Sept. 22 Fort Collins 6 p.m.

Sept. 24 @Broomfield 10 a.m.

Sept. 27 @Monarch 6 p.m.

Sept. 30 @Poudre 6:30 p.m.

Oct. 4 Horizon 7 p.m.

Oct. 8 @Fossil Ridge Noon

Oct. 11 Fairview 3 p.m.

Oct. 13 Rocky Mountain 3:30 p.m.

Oct. 18 @Mountain Range 6 p.m.

Oct. 21 Greeley West 6 p.m.