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Boys soccer: Mead packs punch in second half to beat Berthoud

Mavericks’ adjustments lead to three goals after break

BERTHOUD — Just days after breaking into the Class 4A top 10, the Mead boys soccer team kept its undefeated season intact.

With a three-goal second-half surge, the No. 8 Mavericks defeated Berthoud 4-1 Saturday at Max Marr Stadium to improve to 5-0.

“When it started out, we were pressuring and we played well,” Mead head coach Shane Adler said. “We were challenged and we had a little adversity. That is something we needed to work on was overcoming that adversity and I feel like the boys made the adjustments they needed to make and they got the result that they earned.”

Despite being on the attack most of the first half, the Mavericks managed only one offensive goal on more than a dozen shots against a tough Berthoud defense and Spartan goalkeeper Kellen Marks.

Adjustments were made at halftime and the Mavericks continued their early season dominance by finding the back of the net three times.

Fifteen minutes into the second half, Logan Knight broke the stalemate with a shot from the goal line into the right bottom corner of the goal.

“It was just playing the quick 1-2, breaking down the defense and just pretty much putting it back post because their keeper was sitting front post the entire time,” Knight said.

All three of Mead’s second half goals came from its offense attacking the back post, one of a few adjustments Adler implemented at halftime.

With six minutes left, A.J. Rusk scored to give the Mavericks a 3-1 lead and then with just over a minute and a half remaining, Kiernan Dibella scored the final Mead goal.

“In the second half, we were a lot more composed,” Knight said. “In the first half, we just tried to pretty much bury it near-post, that is where the keeper sat the entire time.”

In the first half, the Mavericks took a 1-0 lead on a goal by Mateo Gonzaga 11 minutes into the game.

With 18:30 left before halftime, a misdirected header by Mead went into the Mavericks’ own goal, tying the game at 1-1.

That close first half was nothing like the dominating performance Mead put on in the second half.

“Our biggest adjustment was we were kind of getting on each other,” Adler said. “We talked about being positive and working as a team and supporting one another. When they started to do that in the second half, our offense started to flow a little better and we were more focused on playing as a team instead of individuals.”

Defensively, the Mavericks have still not been scored on this season. The only goal from their opponents this season came on the own goal against the Spartans on Saturday.

Berthoud managed four shots against the Mavericks in the first half and two in the second.

“The defense is playing well,” Adler said. “They are strong in the back, they are disciplined and their big thing is they are comfortable with one another. They communicate well, so if one side gets overloaded, they know how to shift and how to handle it.”

Mead will begin 5A/4A Northern League play Monday at home against Erie. Berthoud (2-2) will open 4A/3A Longs Peak League action Thursday at home against Niwot.

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