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Boys soccer: Unlikely hero, Stoner, send Skyline into second round

LONGMONT — You can scan down the Skyline soccer roster and overlook Morgan Stoner.

His name isn’t even on the MaxPreps roster on the Falcons’ team page.

It will be now.

The unassuming Skyline sophomore became a hero on Wednesday in the first round of the Class 4A state soccer playoffs, scoring the golden goal in the Falcons’ first ever home playoff game in double overtime to beat John F. Kennedy 2-1.

Moments after scoring, Stoner was dog-piled on by his teammates and a majority of the Skyline student body and it gave him time to process what had just happened.

“It is kind of a mixture of being completely happy and excited about having pushed my team to the next game,” said Stoner, whose team will travel to Parker next Tuesday to take on No. 9 Ponderosa in the second round. The Mustangs beat Pueblo West 2-0.

“But it is also very nerve-wracking because I was just nervous about playing this game in the first place, so actually being able to do something for my team is great.”

How unlikely a hero is Stoner?

He guessed her would probably only be on the field for all of about five minutes and he was right, but the defender, who made the most of his minutes even before scoring the game winner, was in the right place in the absolute right time.

“He came out of no where,” Falcons coach Luis Chavez said. “This kids has come off the bench and done some really good things. He put it away for us.”

For the first 70 minutes, it was a physical draw between the two team in the midfield with a majority of the possession belonging to the Falcons.

But is was the 24th-seeded Commanders that broke the ice in the 76th minute when Alejandro Alaniz chipped a shot over Gabe Chavez, who came out of his goal just enough.

To their credit, Skyline didn’t hit the panic button just because there was under five minute to play.

“I took one of my defenders and put him out top to put on a little more pressure,” Chavez said. “And obviously it worked.”

The hunt for the equalizer took less than a minute. Kennedy was whistled for a foul just outside of their box and Skyline senior Marco Rodriguez made them pay. His direct free kick pinged off of several bodies before sneaking inside the far post of Commanders goalie Juan Gomez.

Both goalies were fantastic. The diminutive Gomez made several acrobatic saves among his eight total and Chavez finished with seven.

Stoner, who had taken two shots in the regular season for the Falcons, beat Gomez up high.

“Most of the time my shots aren’t, how do say, accurate,” he said. “But I knew to go high, the odds were with me.”

Jon Yunt: yuntj@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/JonEYunt

Skyline 2, John F. Kennedy 1, 2OT

At Skyline

John F. Kennedy (10-6)

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1
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1

Skyline (15-1)

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1
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2

Goals (assists) —
John F. Kennedy: Alejandro Alaniz (unassisted), 76th; Skyline: Marco Rodriguez (unassisted), 77th; Skyline: Morgan Stoner (unassisted), 102nd.

Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) —
John F. Kennedy: Juan Gomez (102-2-8); Skyline: Gabe Chavez (102-1-7).

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