BOULDER — The Fairview soccer team is not quite in “start-over” mode, not with the offensive capabilities they’ve displayed across the line in 2013.
But with junior Casey Munsch out for what may be a significant amount of time, the Knights are going to need to rebuild some chemistry. And on Tuesday night, that cohesiveness was just not completely present in their first loss in Front Range League play.
Josh Nelson’s burst from the sideline into the middle of the field in the 96th minute sent Fort Collins to a 2-1 win at Knights Field, completing a comeback that took a full game’s worth of time but showed some of the FHS players that they are still mortal after a 5-0 start to league play.
“Just like (coach) Stan (Jozwiak) said, we’re still in the driver’s seat and we have four game remaining all in league. I think this is a wake-up call we needed to show we need to push to the end and into playoffs,” said goalie Alan Scheuermann, who made five stops in the defeat. “It’s a reminder that we still need to peak if we are going to go deep in playoffs, because we are going to play harder teams.”
The Knights are not far away from where they want to be, but Munsch’s injury (undisclosed) may have set them back a half step. It made an immediate impact in the standings, as 6-1 Boulder moved ahead of the league by percentage points (keeping in mind Fairview beat Boulder 1-0 on Sep. 26, though). Conor Kerry moved up to attack from defense, and Raul Magno did his best from the midfield to set up several positive chances for the Knights on Tuesday, but they couldn’t add to their lead after Carlos Lopez-Abadia scored early on.
“Casey’s had a lot of success for us the first six games, and we’ve had a lot of success offensively across the 10 games we’ve played,” said Jozwiak, whose team is now 8-2-1. “We struggled with that here tonight, but we worked hard at it and showed a lot of effort toward it. We just weren’t able to come up with the same kinds of opportunities we’ve had in the other games this season.”
The winner for Fort Collins (5-3-3) came as the Fairview defense was pushed up toward the midfield. Nelson skated down the left sideline and moved into the middle of the field to receive an over-the-top pass from Keaton Hay, and Scheuermann came out hard to cut off an angle. Nelson made a solid dribble around the goalie, however, and poked it home to send the Lambkins’ bench into a tizzy.
“We’ve been trying to get that sideline run and get me through there, and it’s worked out twice now,” Nelson said. “This is a good win for our whole team.”
“We were obviously pushing to get a late goal, and they just threw a counter and we didn’t recover quick enough,” added Scheuermann. “I was a little bit out of position but tried to come out hard and steal it from his feet, and he dribbled around me. In all, it was a great game by our defense, but we were unlucky to have it end like that.”
The game shifted in the visitors’ favor long before that, though. With just 47 seconds left before the first half ended, Fort Collins got on the board off a free kick and a scramble in front of the net. Coleman Kane was credited with the goal after it bounced off several shins and shirts.
Scheuermann came up with a brilliant diving save on a long drive with about 25 minutes left in regulation, while the Fairview offense continued to push, too. That was a positive for Jozwiak.
While Munsch, who leads the Knights with six goals, is unavailable, Jozwiak simply hopes his offense can mesh once again.
“We had some opportunities and some territory, but we just weren’t able to find the right combination to get it in the goal,” he said.
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FORT COLLINS 2, FAIRVIEW 1 (2OT)
At Knights Field
Fort Collins (5-3-3, 4-1-1) 1 0 0 1 — 2
Fairview (8-2-1, 5-1-0) 1 0 0 0 — 1
Goals (assists) — Fairview: Lopez-Abadia (Magno), 20th minute; Fort Collins: Kane (Vargas), 40th minute; Fort Collins: Nelson (Hay), 96th minute.
Goalkeepers (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Fort Collins: Jordan (96-1-8); Fairview: Scheuermann (96-2-5).