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Boys soccer: Milo Toutenhoofd’s last-minute goal lifts Boulder past Legacy

Senior’s winner came with 62 seconds remaining

Boulder's Cameron Gerber, Joaxin Castruita, Dale Boyer and others huddle around Logan Sims after his goal against Legacy Thursday in Thornton. (Brent W. New/BoCoPreps.com)
Boulder’s Cameron Gerber, Joaxin Castruita, Dale Boyer and others huddle around Logan Sims after his goal against Legacy Thursday in Thornton. (Brent W. New/BoCoPreps.com)
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THORNTON — Boulder’s scoring plays were sensational Thursday night — a one-touch putaway, a perfect header off the cross, a rebound game-winner with 62 seconds remaining.

Even its misses were often mind-boggling. A 41-yard free kick from star Cameron Gerber was drilled so hard, so precisely, it bent back Legacy keeper Wesley Hempelmann’s palms and lifted high and out of play. Whoa.

And with all that, Legacy and reigning BoCoPreps player of the year Cooper Stephens still nearly matched it.

Play in the Front Range League was back to its old, mesmerizing ways on a brisk night at Five Star Stadium in Thornton. The Class 5A top-seeded Lightning came back from two goals in the second half before Milo Toutenhoofd and the Panthers had one more answer in their league-opening 3-2 victory.

For the win — Boulder’s first over Legacy since 2018 — Gerber put a strong chance on net as time ticked under 70 seconds, forcing a diving save. With the ball trickling out in front from the magnitude of the blast, and Hempelmann still getting to his feet, Toutenhoofd then raced up from right of the net and finished.

It was the senior’s first goal of the season. A first in his new position in 2022.

“We’ve been having trouble finishing games, it’s something we’ve been working on,” said Toutenhoofd, the team’s center forward. “And then that final play, I’ve been telling Cameron every time he shoots, I am going to jump on the ball and be there for the tap in.”

The perfect execution, and the perfect response.

Minutes before Toutenhoofd was the hero for Boulder (4-2-1, 1-0 FRL South), it looked to be Stephens, the area’s recent master of the big moment.

Doing what the star forward did much of last season in earning rave acclaim, Stephens struck late, tying things in the 74th minute with a goal that’d make you go ‘Wow’.

It looked like this: Stephens had a defender plastered on him from about 25 yards out. He faked one way, then turned around the other. His ensuing blast couldn’t have been placed by hand any more precisely as it fit past keeper Owen Kalisher’s stretched arms and into the top corner.

Legacy (6-1, 0-1), which had trailed 2-0 at halftime after Boulder totaled most of the chances and had seemingly all the momentum, took control in the second, and earlier got within one on a seeing-eye 40-yard free kick goal by defender Parker Katz. But it couldn’t close.

“This team, how do you say it, they will not go gently into that good night,” Legacy coach Tony Romano said. “They’re a team that’s going to come back and they had a fantastic second half performance. They know that’s in them and just have to access it.

“But they also have to learn the lesson, you can’t just show up and play half a game. When you’re playing Front Range League teams, you can’t play 40 minutes.”

Earlier, Logan Sims scored in the 10th minute for his second goal of the season for Boulder. He gathered the ball just out front of the box, took one touch to his right, then splashed the top of the net.

Oliver Tewksbury added his first of the year in the 34th to make it 2-0. His head connected with a picturesque cross in front of the net by Victor Torres.

THORNTON ??
Legacy’s Mateo Becerra Garcia dribbles against Boulder Thursday in Thornton. (Brent W. New/BoCoPreps.com)

 

The Panthers snapped a three-game losing streak to Legacy.

“I remember last year (against Legacy) was a tough loss and in the last few minutes it almost went our way,” said Sims, referring to the Panthers 2-1 loss to the Lightning in 2021. “Coming out in this game we had a little chip on our shoulder, a little something extra to fight for, and we came out here and did it for each other.”

Nothing gets much easier for either team.

Legacy is at Northglenn Tuesday before hosting a revitalized Monarch program Sept. 29.

Boulder hosts Fairview Saturday at Recht Field, followed by Broomfield next Thursday.

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