Front Range League soccer feels a bit like network TV dramas that rely on misdirection and sudden plot twists.
It’s suspect television at best.
Oh-so intriguing for the pitch, though.
In case you missed what happened on this past week’s FRL: Legacy, the state’s current “it” team, suffered its first loss of the season to a Fairview team that had already lost twice in the league. Broomfield, also unseated as an undefeated squad, lost to Boulder for the fifth straight time dating back to 2015. And Monarch — what to make of Monarch? — had its four-game winning streak come to an end against Poudre Monday after hitting every part of the goal frame except the net.
For now, the Panthers sit atop the Front Range League standings with four wins to open league play. Hardy Kalisher’s crew not only had the toughest schedule in Class 5A based on opponent’s win percentage through eight games, it had two of the more impressive wins of the year coming against Fairview and Broomfield.
Just behind them, the Lightning and Eagles came into the week ranked 1-2 on the CHSAANow.com rankings but may dip when Monday’s list comes out after each suffered its first loss of the season.
Legacy had beaten each of its first six opponents by multiple goals and led Fairview 1-0 early in the second half before the Knights rallied. The winning goal came with 61 seconds remaining in regulation with the Lightning down a man after a controversial red card.
Afterward, both Legacy coach Tony Romano and Fairview coach Eric Schuler talked about the difficulties, and even a sense of strangeness, that can occur in every FRL match.
“If you don’t play for the Rapids or Real DA right now, the highest level of soccer you can be playing right now is in the Front Range League,” Schuler said. “Every single team has Premiere I or former DA players. We’ve got three All-American watchlist players on our roster. Every single season, we’re going to be going against animals, college-level players.”
He added, “at any given time in the Front Range League, you can go down a goal. You can go down a goal quick.”
Boulder and Fairview were ranked on the Fall Fab 50 preseason list presented by Top Drawer Soccer. Broomfield moved into the rankings a short while later and was ranked No. 29 in the nation as of Sept. 24. Legacy, meanwhile, was ranked 29th in the country by MaxPreps prior to its loss to Fairview.
“You got to show up and play to win,” Romano said. “Nobody is going to give you the win. It’s not that easy in this league.”
FRL tennis hits championship time
Unlike soccer in the Front Range League, the FRL tennis season feels a bit more scripted.
Fairview comes into next week’s league tournament touting another strong team that should do well at state. At 1-doubles, Ryan Grayson and Brody Pinto, who made quick work of the Panthers’ No. 1 pairing Tuesday, should be among a select few who could win a title there.
Monarch, meanwhile, has had a nice season so far. The Coyotes have lost just twice in duals — at Fairview on Sept. 17 and at Fossil Ridge two days later. Coming into October, their top three singles players all have combined to go 28-8 in their matches listed on MaxPreps.
“Looking to play our best tennis in the upcoming weeks,” Monarch coach Ryan Berman texted to BoCoPreps. “Our goal is still to send everyone to state.”
Others to watch include Broomfield No. 1 singles player Cameron Lupo, who beat Fairview’s Luke Silverman earlier this season. Also worth watching are Legacy’s No. 1-4 doubles, which all have winning records on the year.
Regional placement for teams in the Front Range League is based off their placing at the league tournament Oct. 2-3.
Perfect day for Reichert
Broomfield’s Hadlee Reichert went 4-for-4 from the plate and hit a walk-off home run in Thursday’s 6-5 win over Fossil Ridge. It was the third time Reichert had four hits in her last five games.
Broomfield volleyball stays perfect after win against Fort Collins
The Eagles are now 10-0 after beating the Lambkins in four sets Thursday. After a season-opening victory over Rock Canyon in five sets, Bob Knox’s team has swept five teams and needed just four sets in each of their last four matches.
Boulder football fell to Westminster 20-6 Friday night for its second straight loss. The Wolves scored all 20 of their points in the first half … Legacy football fell to 0-5 on the season after a 34-7 loss to Mountain Vista Friday. Adarius Edwards threw his first career TD in the loss. … Monarch softball snapped a three-game losing streak with a 22-11 win over Palisade Friday. The game featured 37 combined hits.