Boulder boys soccer looked every bit like the defending state champions Tuesday night as they rolled over Monarch 5-0 for their fourth straight win.
The Panthers victory was crucial as they try to chase down Fort Collins, Fairview, and Legacy for first place in the loaded Front Range League.
“The boys are playing with a lot of joy and team camaraderie right now,” said Boulder head coach Hardy Kalisher. “We’re where we want to be at this point in the season. We’ve been focusing on keeping it fun and playing with great effort.”
The Panthers’ offensive outburst came against a good Monarch defense that has six shutouts this season.
Boulder’s Nick McCabe, a senior, led the way with two first-half goals. In the fifth minute, he was played through on goal, and he rounded the keeper and slotted it home to open the scoring. He struck again in the 26th minute as he headed in a corner kick from the left side, bringing his goal total this season to 10.
“Nick is a tremendous leader on the field and in the locker room,” Kalisher said. “He’s finding his rhythm at the right time of the year.”
Senior defender Luke Regnier notched his second goal of the season in the 38th minute. He redirected in a low cross from the left side to give Boulder a 3-0 halftime lead.
The Panthers would strike two more times early in the second half to complete the scoring. Junior Omar Castruita finished off a rebound from a McCabe shot to score his 11th goal of the season, and Moe Zaharako-Weissman punched in a loose ball to score for the second time this season.
Defensively, the Panthers defense pressed high up the field and intercepted a lot of passes, making it difficult for the Coyotes to find a rhythm offensively. The Coyotes did not have a shot on goal.
“We’ve been focusing on denying other teams opportunities to create scoring chances, and I think the back line did a great job earning the shutout. Good defensive teams deny the shots from happening in the first place,” said Kalisher.
Next up, Boulder will host Rocky Mountain on Saturday, while Monarch will travel to Greeley West on Thursday.
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Boulder 5, Monarch 0
Goals — Boulder McCabe 5th minute, McCabe 26th minute, Regnier 38th minute, Castruita 47th minute, Zaharako-Weissman 50th minute.
Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Boulder Albuisson 60-0-0, Bell 20-0-0; Monarch Dalle-Molle 80-5-10.