By Scott McIntosh
Special to HFAthletics.com
BOULDER — The last two years have seen an early landmark fixture appear on the Tiger’s schedule – Boulder’s perennially talented Class 5A Fairview.
For the Tigers, coming off of solid triumph at Longmont last week, all three teams would face a different challenge. Safe to say that the evening presented a learning lesson for all – lessons that will provide clear focus for the games ahead.
All three teams met sides eager to push aside the upstart Tigers who gave them a fright early on last season before losing 2-0 at home.
It was clear that the varsity match would be an up-tempo affair from the start – the senior-dominant Knights squad came out of the gates
fast and the young Tigers weathered the early storm. They gave as good as they got until mid-way through the first half when one of
Fairview’s midfielders picked up a ball twenty five yards out and slashed a ball at goal that barely sneaked it in at the post.
The Tigers dug in again and got to half-time with the score 1-0, game still in the balance and defending doggedly. The Tigers adjusted formations to
find a way to get through the physical and direct approach of the Knights and just when the momentum was shifting in favor of the Tigers
at the 60 minute mark, Fairview grabbed a very direct headed goal – very much against the run of play.
With momentum lost and their swagger dented, the Tigers were on the back foot again conceding a couple more before the full time clock sounded.
The Tigers trudged from the field – their 60 minutes of stout battle ended up with the score after 80 minutes score that looked far more lop-sided than the game was. Credit to the Tigers’ defensive backline — Enrique Garcia, Kiernan Opp, Kyle Pardoe, Zach Taylor, Alex Troso — for putting up some strong resistance against a team that may challenge for the 5A title at the end of the season.
A tough night for the Tigers, but lots to reflect on across the board – it is under stress that you learn the most about the teams you work with. Next week: Monday (9/9) sees C team go to league-rival Windsor and Tuesday (9/10) provides the first home games of the season for JV
and Varsity and an opportunity to get back on the front foot against Jefferson Academy.