LOUISVILLE — The sound of the referee’s opening whistle was barely gone from the air and the Boulder Panthers were ahead 3-0.
Instead of celebrating, though, the players were yelling to each other to keep attacking and trying to score.
“Every game we want pressure, pressure, pressure,” senior Ivan Ramirez said. “We want them to know we’re taking it to them.”
The Panthers did take it to Monarch, scoring all of their goals in the first half of a 6-0 win Tuesday.
The win helped keep the Panthers on pace for a spot in the Class 5A state soccer playoffs with four games left in the regular season.
Coming into Tuesday, Boulder (6-3-2, 4-2) was fourth in the Front Range League and the win over the Coyotes strengthened its position.
Getting the win with an impressive offensive showing was key.
“This is an important stretch for us,” Boulder coach Hardy Kalisher said. “We want to be on the inside looking out rather than the inside looking in. We need to get into a goal-scoring rhythm. Scoring goals is habit forming and we needed to establish that habit.”
Senior Ben Kates set the tone with three goals, Rojesh Shrestha had two goals and Ramirez scored the other goal in his first game in a month.
Midfielder Omar Bouchta also returned to action after missing time with a sprained ligament in his knee.
The Panthers needed their top players for just a half against the Coyotes (3-9, 1-7). Monarch found itself down 4-0 barely 10 minutes into the game and couldn’t recover.
“Last week we had some tough, close losses and I think it wore us down mentally,” Coyotes coach Jason Cook said. “I don’t think people were mentally prepared for this and we got caught on our toes in the first 15 minutes.”
Not all the news was good for Boulder.
Kates left the game after hitting the ground hard when he went airborne for a free ball near midfield.
Kalisher said Kates was “concussed,” and was going to be evaluated later Tuesday night.
If the Panthers have to play without one of their leaders they got some confidence going into road games against Fort Collins on Thursday and Fossil Ridge on Saturday.
“We’ve got a tough stretch of games coming up and we’ve got to keep the intensity going,” senior Jack Huettel said.
Boulder 6, Monarch 0
At Monarch High School
Boulder (6-3-2, 4-2) 6 0 — 6
Monarch (3-9, 1-7) 0 0 — 0
Goals (assists) — Boulder: Ben Kates 3, Rojesh Shrestha 2, Ivan Ramirez (James Curtis, Kates, Ramirez).
Goalkeepers (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Boulder: Henry Huettel (80-0-1). Monarch: n/a.