WESTMINSTER — Stature wise, Kelli Drobney is far from the biggest thing to take the pitch. But when it comes to striking goals, few swing a boot as sizable as the Legacy midfielder.
The junior highlighted her team’s dominant 5-0 win Tuesday night, striking what might have been the most impressive goal of a game full of them.
From around 40-yards out, Drobney did not have to worry about beating the Monarch defense. The only concern she had was getting her foot velocity high enough to send the ball screaming to back of the net like an artillery shell.
“I saw an open lane and just struck it,” Drobney said. “Right when it went off my foot I thought it was going over (the keeper).”
The Boise State University recruit’s goal in the 56th minute set off an avalanche of Legacy scoring in the second half of the Front Range League match. And the scoring streak, with five different players netting goals on the Coyotes (2-5, 0-4), was almost cathartic for Legacy (5-2-1, 1-2-1).
Those savage cross-frame attempts and savvy redirections the Lightning made appear so easy at North Stadium have been a rarity as of late.
The Lightning endured a frustrating three-game stretch entering Thursday, losing twice, tying once and dropping out of Class 5A’s top 10. The real kick in the shins for the formerly fifth-ranked team was that they were able to net only one goal during the slump.
“It was needed psychologically,” Legacy coach David Castro said. “I wasn’t disappointed in our play in those games. I was a little disappointed with our lack of urgency in front of the goal in those games.”
The Lightning players themselves were champing at the bit to lay the boot to the ball even before taking the pitch Tuesday evening.
“Pre-game we were digging for it and were ready for it,” Drobney said.
The Lightning were a little thrown off by Monarch’s discipline on defense to start. The Coyotes held their hosts scoreless for the first 27 minutes of play, despite Legacy being on constant attack.
Even with Monarch’s solid play to start, it was only a matter of time before the Lightning found their opening. That happened when the Coyotes failed to clear the ball deep enough on a goal kick.
Kelsey Killean snapped like a trap on the misstep, sealing the ball from a defender, beating another and netting an unassisted goal to put Legacy on the board.
“It gets frustrating not scoring,” the sophomore forward said. “But you get that first goal, then it just starts coming naturally.”
Legacy spent the next 60 minutes or so punishing Monarch net with the team’s biggest surge coming in after Drobney’s score. Keira Bell and Lauren Cook put the finishing touches on the game, knocking back goals within eight minutes of the second half’s opening score.
Despite Monarch dropping its fifth straight game, Ryan Henkel has watched his team improve. And the coach believes the Coyotes still have a chance to shock some future competition.
“As the season progresses, I think you’re going to see us turn the tables on some teams,” Henkel said. “At some point, you’re going to see us becoming good.”
Legacy 5, Monarch 0
At North Stadium
Monarch (2-5, 0-4) 0 0 — 0
Legacy (5-2-1, 1-2-1) 2 3 — 5
Goals (assists) — Legacy: Kelsey Killean (unassisted), 27th minute. Legacy: Ariana Jimenez (Lauren Cook), 39th minute. Legacy: Kelli Drobney (unassisted), 56th minute. Legacy: Keira Bell (Lauren Cook), 59th minute. Legacy: Lauren Cook, (Jessie Parra), 64th minute.
Goalkeepers (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Monarch: Mae Williams (62-4-5); Kaylee Mickens (18-1-4).