BOULDER — The end of a lengthy winning streak never is a joyous occasion.
However, this streak-busting loss might sting a little more deeply than usual for the Fairview girls soccer team.
Fairview squandered one-goal leads in three different situations on Monday before Legacy finally scored the winning goal 18 seconds into the second overtime, handing the Knights a 4-3 defeat that snapped Fairview’s six-game winning streak.
Legacy scored its third tying goal of the match with 3:42 remaining in regulation during a controversial sequence that led to a heated exchange between Fairview coach Jeremy Pinard and his counterpart from Legacy, David Castro.
“The frustrating part here is that we talk about letting the kids play the game, and I think here the referees didn’t let the kids play the game,” Pinard said. “Referees are not supposed to be noticed, and tonight I think they were noticed. We can only control what we can control. We had plenty of opportunities to put the game away earlier, and we didn’t.”
The point of contention was not the winning goal scored by the Lightning’s Michaela Vadeboncoeur, but the tying goal Vadeboncoeur scored on a mad scramble in front of the Fairview net following a contentious restart.
The problem began when Fairview’s Kristin Breakell fell to the turf with a leg injury, remaining there as Legacy controlled the ball. The unwritten soccer etiquette in that situation would call for the offensive team to tap the ball out of bounds, handing possession to the team with the injured player. Legacy did not, drawing Pinard’s ire, and after the officials stopped play, Legacy was awarded the restart from just outside the top right corner of the Fairview penalty box.
Taking the kick in the waning minutes of a tightly contested match was the Lightning’s Kelli Drobney, whose cross resulted in a touch by Vadeboncoeur that barely crossed the goal line after caroming downward off the bottom of the crossbar. Fairview was further riled when an apparent breakaway by Daphnee Morency was waved off by a questionable offside call during the first overtime.
“I told my player to kick it out, and they blew the whistle before she could kick it out,” Castro said. “The rule is that it’s a restart from right there. One (official) was trying to play it with the not-CHSAA rules and the other wasn’t. So they’re arguing with each other, but the rule is the rule, and that’s how it played out. We were going to kick it out of bounds. Instead he blew the whistle. Ultimately, he’s the one that put himself in that situation. If he’d had let it go another two seconds, it would have been out of bounds and it would have been a (Fairview) throw-in.”
Fairview (7-4-1, 6-2 Front Range League), which debuted in the Denver Post’s weekly Class 5A coaches poll at No. 10 on Monday, had allowed only two goals in its previous five games before failing to protect three separate leads against the Lightning. The Knights still will retain sole possession of third place in the conference going into Thursday’s showdown at league co-leader Fossil Ridge, which took over the No. 1 slot in this week’s Class 5A rankings.
“We could have kept our heads a little better, but we just didn’t take care of our opportunities like they did,” Morency said. “Fossil Ridge is going to be a tough game for us. We need to dig deep for that one.”
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Legacy (8-3-1, 4-3-1) earned its fourth win in five games, getting one goal and one assist from Drobney in addition to Vadeboncoeur’s two late goals. Monday’s victory marked the first time this season the Lightning has earned a win without requiring a shutout.
“This is a tough place to come play, it’s a tough place to win against a good team,” Castro said. “We’ve persistently been trying to keep ourselves around that are tight and close, and today we found a way to win.”
Follow Pat Rooney on Twitter: @prooney07
Legacy 4, Fairview 3
At Fairview H.S.
Legacy (8-3-1, 4-3-1) 2 1 0 1 — 4
Fairview (7-4-1, 6-2) 2 1 0 0 — 3
Goals (assists) — Legacy: Drobney, 12th minute; Tucker (Killean), 26th minute; Vadeboncoeur (Drobney), 77th minute; Vadeboncoeur, 86th minute. Fairview: Morency (Fear), 2nd minute; Bitner (Gamble), 22nd minute; Gamble, 44th minute.
Goalkeepers (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Legacy: Narang (86-3-8); Fairview: DeCurnou (86-4-5).