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Girls Soccer: Rivalry win keeps Legacy’s playoff hopes alive

WESTMINSTER — The anticipation of laying into rival Mountain Range, Lauren Cook points out, was something brewing in the Legacy girls soccer team long before Tuesday evening’s kickoff.

“We were pumped and we were pumped all day,” the Legacy forward said. “It started at 7:15 in the morning and carried all the way to 5 o’clock (in the afternoon) when the whistle blew.”

The Lightning’s enthusiasm more than showed, with LHS coming up with one of its most lopsided wins of the season. Legacy (9-4-1, 5-4-1 Front Range League) walked off the turf at North Stadium with its eighth shutout of the season, downing Mountain Range 5-0.

The Lightning’s emotions were running high for a couple of reasons entering its second-to-last game of the season.

There was the rivalry element, with Legacy licking its chops to avenge last year’s loss to the Mustangs (5-7-2, 3-6-1). But there was a more immediate concern fueling the Lightning’s fire — the Class 5A state tournament.

LHS sat in seventh place entering its game against Mountain Range. With the conference qualifying only six teams, it was a must-win situation.

“You put yourself into a playoff mindset when you’re in this league and you’re not in a secure spot,” Legacy coach David Castro said. “You lose, you could be done.”

Heading into Thursday’s match at Greeley West walking the tightrope is also like deja vu all over for the Lightning.

“Last year, we had to beat them to get into the tournament,” Castro said. “And we struggled, it was 0-0 at halftime and we were at home.”

The Lightning set their coach’s mind at ease with the style of play they brought to the pitch against Mountain Range. The team constructed attack after attack, with nearly every girl getting into the act.

Even in the team effort, one girl stole the spotlight. Cook was almost always where the action was when the Lightning were pressuring the frame.

The junior finished the evening with a goal and two assists. Cook set up the opening scores of each half, then tucked in the final goal of the game on a spectacular set-piece play. The forward netted the ball in the 70th minute, heading in a free kick from midfielder Brooke Williams.

“I had two header attempts that didn’t go in earlier, I just wanted to get one in,” Cook said. “I was just working my butt off to prove something today.”

Legacy was relentless in all aspects of the game with its defense also turning in an airtight performance. The backfield allowed the Mustangs only two shots on frame, the first one coming 53-minutes into play. It paled to Legacy’s offensive output, with the Lightning putting nine shots on goal.

While the Lightning had no problem putting the ball in the back of the net once it started scoring, it did take some time for the team to find its touch. But once Keira Bell struck on a chip shot in the 25th minute, the floodgates were open. The team went on to score twice more before halftime, then stuck in the final two goals in the second half.

“Getting that first goal is one of the most important parts of the game, because it sets the tone,” Bell said. “You’re team has the high, the other team is low and everything just falls over from there.”


Follow Woody on Twitter: @ElwoodKShelton


Legacy 5, Mountain Range 0

At North Stadium

Mountain Range (5-7-2, 3-6-1) 0 0 — 0

Legacy (9-4-1, 5-4-1) 3 2 — 5


Goals (assists) — Legacy: Keira Bell (Lauren Cook), 25th minute; Legacy: Kelsey Killean (Jessie Arellano), 31st minute; Legacy: Emily Henry (Kelli Drobney), 35th minute; Legacy: Michaela Vadeboncoeur (Lauren Cook), 58th minute; Legacy: Lauren Cook (Brooke Williams), 70th minute.

Goalkeepers (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Mountain Range: Jackie Palizzi (80-5-4)Legacy: Aish Narang (72-0-0); Tori Bonahoom (8-0-3).

Follow me on Twitter @elwoodkshelton