NIWOT — Jared Osteen scored a goal early and late for the Niwot Cougars, and the defense stepped up with some big plays in the second half to get a 2-0 shutout win over the Skyline Falcons in a rivalry match on Tuesday.
“We knew we needed to win today,” Osteen said. “We came out here and did it.”
Osteen scored the first goal at the 16-minute mark when he chased down a loose ball and beat the Skyline goalie to it, allowing him to put it in the back of the empty net. The goal came after a few other scoring chances for Niwot as it controlled ball possession and played in the offensive zone early.
“We were talking and playing wide,” Osteen said.
The strategy worked and Niwot had three quality scoring chances, including the goal from Osteen.
With 9 minutes, 29 seconds remaining in the first half, the game was delayed due to lightning in the area. As the delay was nearing its end, the storm passed through and dropped heavy rain and hail for a period to extend the delay even longer. A 96-minute delay would be the result, forcing both teams to wait it out and to try to get back in the groove when they returned to the field.
It was Skyline who came out the better team from the break and did not allow Niwot to score late in the first half. From there, scoring chances came in bunches for the Falcons in the second half.
“Our leadership spoke up and spoke up well,” Skyline coach Luis Chavez said. “We talked about how our formation didn’t matter. Soccer is about defending and attacking. When you lose the ball, you have to regain possession. We did change our formation a little bit and it gave us a little push, but it was really the mindset to do things much better.”
Jackson Troph had the first quality chance for Skyline on a corner kick when the Niwot goalie jumped and missed the ball, giving him possession in the box to shoot, but a pair of Niwot defenders stepped in front and blocked the shot off their chest to prevent the score. Gabriel Sosa followed with two quality chances in a span of a few minutes, but his shots went high and off the crossbar wide.
The scoring chances gave the young Skyline team life they needed to see in a matchup with their rivals, according to Chavez.
“We’re a little more inexperienced with a new team,” Chavez said. “We had to figure out the game and we were able to come out with a different energy from the break.”
Despite the scoring chances, Skyline came up empty and could not get the equalizer. Then came the play to secure Niwot’s win when Osteen jumped for a corner kick against the Skyline goalie in the goal box and hit just enough of the ball with his body to see if softly roll into the goal for his second. The goal came with seven minutes to spare and was too much for Skyline to recover from late.
“I was just going in hard,” Osteen said. “Sometimes it just bounces right. That time it did. I was happy to get two (goals).”
Both teams will now look to get into a rhythm moving forward after having a quiet start to the regular season. Tuesday was just the second game for Skyline and the fourth for Niwot. Each will play five more games to close out the month of September.