LONGMONT — When they are feeling it, the Skyline Falcons play some exciting soccer.
This season, the big challenge has been finding that drive to start and finish a match with the same level of intensity.
“We are still trying to figure out how to get it all together, and I am hoping we will get it worked out before the playoffs,” Falcons coach Luis Chavez said. “When we decide to manage the ball and handle it, we have a sweet way of knocking the ball around.”
Skyline showed signs that it is ready to put it all together following a 4-2 victory over Frederick in a Class 4A Tri-Valley League game on Tuesday at JC Field.
The Falcons controlled much of the pace and appeared to be in little danger, but just when they looked like they would put the game out of reach the Warriors found a way to keep it close.
“We like where we are at but we still need to work on putting our full effort into each game,” freshman Cruz Valdez said. “Sometimes we’re off a little bit.”
Valdez and Skyline were mostly on against Frederick. He scored two goals, including one midway through the second half that essentially secured the victory.
The Falcons improved to 7-2 in the Tri-Valley (7-5 overall) and sit in third place with three games remaining, including two big ones against Fort Morgan and Northridge.
Frederick (3-7 overall, 3-6 league), meanwhile, would like to win at least two of its final five games and match the most victories in program history.
“We’ve been an up-and-down team this year, so I like the fact that we never gave up,” Warriors coach Nathan Oliver said. “We just have to keep fighting. We have some winnable games still ahead, and our goal is to either tie the five wins in a season or better that.”
Frederick saw itself fall in an early hole after Josue Chavez worked across the field with the defense in front of him and found enough room to unleash a shot.
His blast hit the upper-right corner and barely broke the goal line before bouncing back out in the 14th minute.
“I turned and saw that I had the space and the goal right in front of me, so I just went for the rip,” said Chavez, who assisted on another score. “It ended up hitting right in the corner and bounced in over the line and came back out. Luckily the ref saw it.”
Skyline forced the action until Frederick made a run and set up its first corner kick.
David Navarro lofted in a beautiful ball that Skyline keeper Alex Seeley tried to punch clear but misplayed, and Joel Andrade was there for the unobstructed header to tie the game.
Right before the half, however, Josue Chavez sent a long pass right to the foot of a sprinting Valdez, who broke ahead of two defenders and went low to the far post to give the Falcons another lead, 2-1.
“The coaches told me to take a banana run, an angle run from the outside, and it would be there every time,” Valdez said. “I tried it and Josue put a perfect ball there, so I just took a touch toward the goal and finished it.”
Jovanni Chavez added a goal on a penalty kick to make it 3-1 Skyline, but Alex Becerra responded for the Warriors with an unassisted goal.
Cruz finally put it away using a similar angle run along the flank, this time controlling a feed from Jovanni Chavez, to beat the keeper and give the Falcons a comfortable advantage.
Not everyone, however, was totally pleased.
“I wanted the hat trick,” Cruz said.
Brady Delander can be reached at email@example.com.
Skyline 4, Frederick 2
At JC Field, Skyline H.S.
Frederick (3-7, 3-6) 1 1 — 2
Skyline (7-5, 7-2) 2 2 — 4
Goals (assists) — Skyline: Josue Chavez (unassisted), 14th minute; Frederick: David Navarro (Joel Andrade), 24th; Skyline: Cruz Valdez (Chavez), 36th; Skyline: Jovanni Chavez (penalty kick), 44th; Frederick: Alex Becerra (unassisted), 50th; Skyline: Valdez (Chavez), 64th.
Shots on goal — Frederick: 2-2 — 4; Skyline: 10-4 — 14.
Goalkeepers (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Frederick: Samuel Samano (80-4-10); Skyline: Alex Seeley (40-1-1), Angel Rodriguez (40-1-1).
Corner kicks — Frederick: 2-2 — 4; Skyline: 9-0 — 9.
Yellow card — Becerra, Frederick, 46th.