BROOMFIELD — Like most athletes, soccer players are creatures of habit.
So on Tuesday night before their match against Jefferson Academy when the lightning delay not only cancelled the second half of the junior varsity game, but also hindered the regular warm-up routine, Holy Family head coach David Martinez knew something wasn’t going to be right.
“The lightning delay just puts you in a different mindset. You show up to the game and then you have a delay and for us starting out slow was difficult,” said Martinez, whose team found themselves down 1-0 late in the first half to a young Jaguars team that had yet to score this season and had given up 13 goals in their first three matches.
But the soccer gods smiled on the Tigers before the halftime whistle and the referee stopped the clock with 2.5 second to allow Holy Family and its dangerous goal scorer Dylan McIntosh to set up a direct free kick from 19 yards out. The junior made them pay.
He equalized there and the Tigers carried the momentum into the second half, ultimately pulling away for a 3-1 victory to improved to 2-1 overall.
“Thankfully we got that goal,” Martinez said. “I’ve said it all year long, we are very talented, we are a whole lot faster than last year, but we are very young.”
Holy Family looked like a completely different side in the second 40 minutes. They were more confident on the ball, more aggressive on defense and while the quality scoring chances weren’t as prevalent as they probably would have liked, they still made the most of them.
The Tigers bagged the game-winner in 53rd minute. Freshman Alden Bennett beat Aaron Arndt with a high blast from the top corner of the box. Holy Family would put the game out of reach just five minutes later.
On yet another set piece, junior Kiernan Opp made the Jaguars pay with another short range direct free kick.
“We all train that way and this team — and I know it’s the name of our school — but we treat this as a family,” said Martinez, when referring to the offensive diversity on the score sheet with both Bennett and Opp scoring their first goals of the season. “If everyone is scoring, it is going to make us very dangerous come playoffs because you are not going to be able to mark one single guy. You are going to have to worry about (a number of) players that can be on the field and score at any time.”
It was a nice bounce back from last weeks 4-0 setback to 5A powerhouse Fairview in Boulder and Martinez knows his team is close to clicking on all cylinders.
“Game four, I think we should be settled,” he said, “Thankfully against Longmont we were able to see different looks and have been able to move up some kids that have responded positively.”
HOLY FAMILY 3, JEFFERSON ACADEMY 1
At Holy Family
Jefferson Academy (0-4) 1 0 — 1
Holy Family (2-1) 1 2 — 2
Goals (assists) — JA: Ethan Livingston (unassisted), 36′; HF: Dylan McIntosh (unassisted), 40′; Alden Bennett (unassisted), 53′; Kiernan Opp (unassisted), 58′.
Goalies (Min.-GA-Saves) — HF: Liam Burns (78-1-0), Zac Heinis (2-0-0).