Good teams find ways to win ugly games.
It’s odd to the outsider calling a 3-0 win ugly, however.
Behind two sweet goals from Andy Hoyt and a strong back row of defense, Fossil Ridge beat visiting Mountain Range 3-0 on a breezy Thursday evening to keep pace with Front Range league leaders Boulder and Fairview. But the SaberCats weren’t quite satisfied with their team chemistry and overall play.
“That was a good team and they put a lot of pressure on us. We didn’t keep the ball against them. I think it’s a testament to our team that it takes a really good team to win an ugly game like that,” said Fossil Ridge head coach Shannon Clarke. “It’s not worth watching again, I can tell you that.”
It’s a muddled top of the Front Range League standings with Fossil Ridge (10-2, 6-2 Front Range) right in the mix with Fairview (9-3-1, 5-2-1), Loveland (11-1-2, 6-1-2) and Boulder (7-6, 6-2), the latter of which lost in a stunner to Poudre 2-1 before Fossil Ridge’s game Thursday. The SaberCats have two league games remaining, at Loveland on Tuesday and against Poudre next Thursday.
Hoyt struck first in the 8th minute Thursday, collecting a long punt by goalkeeper Josh King to just squib the ball underneath Mountain Range freshman goalkeeper Justin Johnson. His second goal came in the 49th minute on a similar breakdown in the Mountain Range defense.
“The first one, I was just in the right place at the right time I guess,” Hoyt said. “We just capitalized on their mistakes and we were able to get a good win. Every win in this league and in Colorado is a good win. We found a way to get it done.”
Defender Nick Koplyay netted the final goal for Fossil Ridge in the 70th minute, off a SaberCats corner kick.
Thursday night wasn’t all good news for Koplyay, however.
About six minutes after scoring his goal, Koplyay fell to the ground after a Fossil Ridge corner kick, clutching his head.
He bashed temples with a Mountain Range player, Clark said, and he hobbled his way to the sideline with the aid of Clark and an athletic trainer.
The apparent head injury could keep him out for two to three weeks, Clark said.
“That’s not good. That doesn’t look good at all and I hope that he’s going to be OK. That looks like a couple weeks out to me,” Clark said. “We’re going to miss him, obviously. He plays every minute of every game. We have a good team though. We have a lot of depth and some guys will have to step up.”
Mountain Range drops to 4-8-1 and 3-5.
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