BROOMFIELD — The Boulder High girls soccer team certainly was hoping for better results against their biggest three rivals in the Front Range League.
However, after Thursday’s game against Legacy at 1st Bank Stadium, the Panthers completed a run through Fairview, Monarch and the Lightning without a goal on the board.
Still healthy overall at 5-4 and in “a good place” according to head coach Ryan Henkel, the Panthers were handled 3-0 by a Legacy squad that seems to be jelling right now. Makenna O’Grady had a goal and an assist, Megan Becker scored her third goal of the season, and Legacy improved to 4-1-1 in its last six games and 5-3-2 overall.
Kylie Thomas also scored for Legacy, a goal early in the second half that forced Boulder to press hard for a score.
“I think we’re a good team, and I think sometimes the game breaks our way and sometimes it doesn’t,” said Henkel, whose team has had five games in the past 10 days. “We played really well in the first half. After they scored their first goal we had to open up, and they punished us for that decision.
“I still feel good about where we are because we’ve played good teams in this string of games. I’m pleased with our spirit, though I think we might be down after tonight.”
Both teams had lost to Monarch in recent days and for Legacy, the Coyotes soured their mood two days ago with a second-half rally after the Lightning held a 1-0 lead going to the break.
So when Becker gave Legacy a 1-0 lead in the 22nd minute Thursday after O’Grady managed a short centering pass that found the sophomore’s foot in front of the net, the Lightning made it a point to finish the job they started.
Boulder’s Laura Greer had a couple of threatening shots over the course of the remainder of the first half, but just 6 minutes after halftime Legacy upped its lead to 2-0 when Thomas struck a perfect ball from about 25 yards.
That goal came as a result of Thomas stepping up to the ball in a small scramble, and there was general acknowledgment that Legacy did a remarkable job of fighting to the ball throughout the game.
“I think it was just about connecting passes, winning individual battles and being strong on the ball,” O’Grady said. “(Winning) the second half was a goal for us because we wanted to bring it and finish strong. We knew we had the lead, but that can be easy to lose sometimes.”
“I would say the difference was that in front of the goal they worked to get to the ball and didn’t have the desire to do anything other than that,” Henkel added. “When we were attacking, we weren’t working to get through.”
O’Grady’s score put the game away in the 54th minute and was her 10th goal of the season. She was in the right spot for a rebound off a Morgan Morocco shot after Morocco was fed a precise through ball from Kaylee Kennedy in the midfield.
Legacy jumped over Boulder in the FRL standings as a result, moving to 4-2-1 in the league (Boulder dropped to 3-3).
“We are (jelling), and I think Monarch was kind of the wake-up call that we needed,” O’Grady said.
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LEGACY 3, BOULDER 0
At 1st Bank Stadium
Boulder 0 0 — 0
Legacy 1 2 — 3
Goals (assists) — Legacy: Megan Becker (Makenna O’Grady assist), 22nd minute; Legacy: Kylie Thomas (unassisted), 46th minute; Legacy: O’Grady (Morgan Morroco), 54th minute.
Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Boulder: Faviola Morquecho (80-3-4); Legacy: Tori Bonahoom (66-0-3), MaKenna Gottschalk (14-0-1).