NIWOT — With the postseason coming up next week, the Niwot soccer team needed a bit of a boost.
The Cougars got one Thursday afternoon with a 3-0 win over rival Skyline.
“It was a good way to end the regular season,” Cougars coach Jeremy Drake said. “It was fun. We got a lot of girls a lot of time and finished some opportunities. It’s a nice way to go (out).”
It was senior day for the Cougars (8-5-2), but a pair of underclassmen came through on offense. Sophomore Maria Fayeulle scored two goals and freshman Madison Studebaker added another in helping Niwot erase the sour taste of a 3-2 loss to Centaurus on Tuesday.
“I think that’s going to boost everyone’s confidence a lot,” Fayeulle said. “Those goals were good, I think the team was playing well and I think we’ll go to the playoffs strong.”
Niwot finished fourth in the 4A Northern Conference, but finished the season 3-0 against city rivals Longmont, Silver Creek and Skyline, outscoring them 7-0.
“It felt really good,” Fayeulle said. “Skyline is obviously a cross-town rival and we had won our other two cross-towns, so this just secured the city win. That was comforting.”
Niwot controlled the game, in terms of quality scoring chances. The Cougars had 11 shots on net to just three for Skyline (8-6-1).
Fayeulle put Niwot on the board in the 16th minute, taking the ball down the center of field and punching it past Falcons’ goalkeeper Rebecca Kissinger.
Just before halftime, Studebaker took a pass from junior Kylie Fischer and beat the Skyline defense for a 2-0 lead.
“Traditionally we start all the seniors (on senior day),” Drake said. “I think once they finished a couple, they calmed down a little bit and just had a fun game the rest of the way.”
Fayeulle added another goal early in the second half.
Skyline, missing several starters due to injury, played fairly well throughout the day and left with its head up.
“We are a little short-handed, but I think we did good,” senior defender Madi Welsh said. “We possessed the ball, we took some shots. We need to work it up and get it in the goal a little more, but we played pretty good.”
Skyline finished the regular season with back-to-back losses to playoff-bound Windsor and Niwot, but the Falcons are looking ahead to the playoffs themselves.
“It’s OK and it prepares us for the next round,” coach Kevin Puckett said. “I just hope we get healthy.”
Niwot is certainly healthy. Now with a measure of confidence, the Cougars hope to build off of that in the postseason.
“I think we’re confident, we’re comfortable, we’ve been playing well,” Fayeulle said.
NOTABLE: Skyline will finish with a winning record for the 10th time in Puckett’s 12 years as coach. … Kissinger made eight saves in net. … Fayeulle finished the regular season with a team-high 13 goals. Nobody else has more than three. … Niwot notched its sixth shutout of the season. … Skyline’s Jordan Barnes got a yellow card in the second half.
Brian Howell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Niwot 3, Skyline 0
At Niwot H.S.
Skyline (8-6-1) 0 0 — 0
Niwot (8-5-2) 2 1 — 3
Goals (assists) — Niwot: Maria Fayeulle, 16th minute; Niwot: Madison Studebaker (Kylie Fischer), 38th minute; Niwot: Fayeulle, 46th minute.
Goalkeepers (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Skyline: Rebecca Kissinger (80-3-8). Niwot: Kim Schoep (80-0-3).