Going down three goals once was challenging enough, but trying to come back twice proved too much for the Liberty Common High School boys soccer team.
The Eagles surrendered three goals in the game’s first eight minutes Wednesday on the way to an 8-1 humbling against Colorado Academy.
“We started off slow and had guys caught out of position,” Liberty coach Dan Knab said. “It was a wake up call for us.”
Liberty showed life in the latter stages of the first half, pressing much of the action and eventually breaking through with a goal with 15 minutes until halftime.
Sophomore left winger Ian Christie found the top right corner of the net with a lofting high shot from outside the penalty box.
“Honestly I was trying to cross it,” Christie said. ” I got lucky it went in.”
The Eagles couldn’t get many other fortuitous bounces, as they had one shot bounce off the crossbar and the Colorado Academy goalie stopped a one-on-one opportunity.
“It could have easily been 3-3,” Colorado Academy coach JC Pritchard said. “I told our team we had to come out in the second half and take the momentum back.”
The Mustangs responded with a goal shortly after the second half kicked off, and kept the pressure on with four more scores in the second frame.
“It messed with us mentally and really dragged us down,” Christie said.
Liberty couldn’t keep up with Colorado Academy for most of the second half due to their lack of conditioning.
“We were out of shape in the second half and it showed,” Knab said.
Freshman midfielder Mason Campbell never let up though, regularly making long runs down the right side of the field and into the penalty box.
“He’s 5 foot (tall) but he plays like he’s 6’4″,” Knab said. “He packs a really powerful punch.”
Colorado Academy exposed the Eagles’ youth (the team’s only senior is injured and will miss the next six weeks) throughout the second half, regularly finding man-up opportunities and finishing in front of the net.
“We were using the width of the field really well; we put on a lot of combination plays,” Pritchard said.
The Eagles drop to 2-1 with the loss, and they will have a lot to improve before their next game Tuesday against Sterling.
“We need to control the score and not let it get out of reach,” Knap said. “They out played us. We don’t have any excuses.”