• Jeremy Papasso / Staff Photographer

    Legacy's Gracie Armstrong boots the ball during Tuesday's first round Class 5A playoff game with visiting Heritage. Armstrong scored a goal as the Lightning won 2-0. Go to BoCoPreps.com for more photos.

  • Jeremy Papasso / Staff Photographer

    Legacy's Nora Spuler, left, congratulates Alyssa Johnson on a goal during a first round Class 5A playoff game with visiting Heritage Tuesday. Go to BoCoPreps.com for more photos.

  • Jeremy Papasso / Staff Photographer

    Legacy's Makenna Gottschalk makes a save during the Lightning's first round Class 5A playoff game with visiting Heritage Tuesday. Go to BoCoPreps.com for more photos.



WESTMINSTER — Trust the process.

It is what Legacy coach Luke Meadows has preached to his Lightning squad all season with the intent focused on playoff soccer.

On Tuesday evening in the opening round of the Class 5A state tournament at North Stadium, 13th-seeded Legacy faced a familiar foe in No. 20 Heritage — a team they took out 3-1 in the second round last season.

They had a general idea of what to expect from the Eagles and, after a patient and possession-oriented opening half, the Lightning struck just before halftime and went on to a comfortable 2-0 victory.

“That was one when I saw the draw that I knew wasn’t going to be an easy out,” Meadows said. “It was 3-1 last year and it was a battle just like it was today.

“I wasn’t so nervous about the result as I was knowing how stout they were defensively, one of those defenses that just builds a wall, and hadn’t given up a lot of goals to some of the best team in Colorado.”

By virtue of their victory, the Lightning will host No. 29 Regis Jesuit Friday night at 6 p.m. The Raiders upset No. 4 Fruita Monument 2-1 in overtime at Colorado Mesa’s Walker Field Tuesday night.

“I fee like we play better at home,” junior Kailey Maness said. “Everyone is just more focused and it’ll be great not to travel five hours to Fruita.”

It was Maness that was at the center of things for the Lightning on Tuesday night and it was her little bit of extra effort in the 39th minute that helped create the opening goal.

On a ball that looked destined to head out-of-bounds, Maness stopped it, turned between two defenders and was able to get a pass to Gracie Armstrong. Armstrong then sent a cross to the far side of the box, where junior Alyssa Johnson was unmarked. Johnson, who received the ball 15 yards out, had time to settle before picking out where she was going to beat Heritage keeper Tara Hoffman and then went low to the far post for the opening tally.

“I knew I had to get that one, we had so many balls to the outside forward and we just hadn’t been able to connect at all,” Maness said. “It was a really relieving goal.”

Said Meadows: “Patience has been our thing from the start. We don’t really change our style a whole lot unless we are chasing a goal. But we try to have 80 percent of the possession, because every little passes causes a defender to shift, and every time they shift, it’s more mileage on the legs.”

The Lightning would double their lead in the 43rd minute. Armstrong unleashed a top-shelf rocket from 30 yards out that Hoffman had not chance on reaching.

“The one thing in training yesterday that we had to keep the girls focused on was Friday, because they were concerned with the travel or hosting a Regis team that’s record isn’t what they show,” said Meadows, who compared the Raiders out of the Continental League to Heritage.

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


At North Stadium

Heritage (6-7-3)00—0

Legacy (12-4)11—2

Goals (assists) — Legacy: Alyssa Johnson (Gracie Armstrong), 39th minute; Armstrong (Kailey Maness) 43rd.

Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Heritage: Tara Hoffman (80-2-2); Legacy: Makenna Gottschalk (80-0-3).